My little mermaid 

So a few weeks ago I shared this photo on my Silhouette Secrets Group page and it sparked a lot of interest to what I was making….
Well, it is actually several projects and I’m here today to show you the project I used my Silhouette to help me create.

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I found this tutorial for Princess dress up aprons on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect for my kids. We have very tall kids so the store bought Princess dresses do not always fit well or for very long.
This is perfect for them to use for a long time to come.
I actually made these Little Mermaid ones for my nieces as a Christmas gift.

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If I actually could sit down and go from start to finish on the project, it would only take a couple hours. But, I have 3 little interruptions, I was making 2 of them at the same time and everyone seems to want dinner…
every single night….
So I worked on them a little here and a little there….

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I used my Silhouette machine to cut the seashells on the bodice.
First I sprayed them with Terial Magic, let them dry a bit and heat set that with my iron.
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Then, I added some sew-able interface backing to the fabric and put it on my Silhouette mat. This helps to stabilize the material even more and make it easier for the Silhouette blade to cut it.
I then found my seashell I wanted from a design I had purchased in the Silhouette store.
I duplicated the shell and aligned them next to each other.
I added a rectangle between them and then welded the 3 shapes together.
And changed my cut settings to Fabric and hit the cut button in Design Studio.

Tip: I keep separate blades for each type of material I am cutting, such as – Vinyl, cardstock, fabric, etc.

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And what a joy to see my nieces open up their gifts on Christmas morning!

I asked my youngest if she would like a Little Mermaid apron & she says
“I want Tinkerbell!”.
So off to the craft store we go again for green & yellow fabric.
So I’m sure you will see me back again showing off her Tinkerbell apron, just as soon as I find the time to start that project.

Crafting with your Cameo = So many possibilities….. So little time!
Enjoy!

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Personalizing scrapbook album covers 

I love to give these mini albums as gifts, especially to grandparents. But, I like to make them even better by giving it a personal touch and what better way than….. vinyl!!!

This bundle is available at a discount until December 31st in the “It’s the Little Things” promotion found HERE.
To get it centered on the front I used my CTMH Versamat for measurements & some painters tape to hold my vinyl in place. I am using a method referred to the “hinged” method for applying my vinyl.

This way I can peel the backing off one side, cut the backing off & then smooth one side of the vinyl decal in place. Then I remove the painters tape & backing paper and carefully smooth the rest of the decal down into place. This helps get your design placed exactly where you want it.

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I found these cute designs in the Silhouette store and knew they would be perfect to personalize the covers of my gifts!
I love how these turned out!
Enjoy!

Photoshop Template

I created a video on how to create a template in Photoshop Elements.
This particular tutorial features 2×2 and 4×4 squares, but you can use the same techniques to get any size or shape you want.

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Click on the image above or link below to the video:
https://youtu.be/E6uQ6msALdE

I do this when I want different photo sizes for a project.
In this case, I was having 2×2 and 4×4 photos printed for a small scrapbook album I am using as a gift.
You can find out more about that scrapbook album bundle HERE.

My go to company to print my 12 x 12 layouts is Persnickety prints. I love that a 12 x 12 page cost $1.99 and they have a flat rate shipping fee of $5.99 (U.S.), not to mention the excellent print quality and the speediness of their service.

Here is one of the layouts I had printed for this project.

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Now all I have to do is take my paper trimmer and cut the photos apart and slide them into the page protectors for my album.

Check back later to see how I used my Silhouette Cameo to personalize the albums for gifts.

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December special from CTMH

This month from Close to My Heart they have a special called “It’s The Little Things“.


There are several album bundle specials that are included and you get a discount on it all.




Check out all the details HERE!

This special is expiring on the 31st so grab it now before the year is gone!!!

Make sure to check back in soon for how on creating a collage of 2×2 or 4×4 photos using Photoshop Elements.


Silhouette subscription – worth it or not? 

I’ve been a Silhouette junkie for over 4 years. If I knew then what I know now, I would have become a Silhouette groupie many years before that when my friend said, “Hey, I think you should check out this other machine.” I looked into it, saw the price tag & told myself I didn’t need it when I had a lot invested into my Cricut machines. Boy was I ever wrong!!!!

As time went on, I become less thrilled with my Cricut machines limited capabilities. All of that changed when I opened my first Silhouette box. The possibilities are endless.

I am pretty frugal and in the beginning I didn’t want to purchase designs, I wanted to create them. And I have to be honest, what I saw in the Silhouette store wasn’t really my style. Now that has changed and the store has grown & there is something for everyone.

This past year while I was attending Terri Johnson Creates hands-on Silhouette class in Woodbridge, VA; she spoke about the Silhouette subscription and explained how it can be a great way to grab designs for less than the full price in the store. With a subscription you pay a monthly fee & get a certain dollar amount every month to spend in the store.

For example: the $9.99/month plan gets you $25 credit each month. Then if you get it when they are having a sale on the subscriptions, you save even more. And if you pay for a year in advance you get an additional 5% savings. And you can make your credits stretch even farther if you purchase when they are having a sale in the store. Terri mentioned this was a great time to stock up on fonts…..

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Merry Christmas to me!!! That’s what I told my husband, even though it was the end of August.

I would highly recommend looking into a Silhouette store subscription if you find yourself buying designs on a regular basis. Do keep in mind that the designs are for Personal Use (PU) & if you plan to make items to sell, that you need to purchase the Commercial Use (CU) license to do so legally.

I would also highly recommend checking out Terri Johnson Creates and her conferences. Even though I feel like I know quite a bit about the Silhouette, it’s a never ending learning process & I learned so much attending the 2 retreats this past year.

If you are a Silhouette Junkie like me, check out this free cut file for personal use by Christine at Cutting for Business


(Find this free Personal Use cut file HERE)

And guess what??
Silhouette Design store is having a sale on the subscription right now through January 2nd.
Take a look at it HERE.

Enjoy!

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Silhouette instruction

Did you get a Cameo for Christmas or just because?

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Need help learning how to do something? I attended Terri Johnson Creates first graduating Instructor class and am now set up for online instruction via video conference calls. I use a program that is free to you called Zoom and it allows me to share exactly what is on my screen, so I can walk you through the software and you can follow along in your software.

I love the flexibility of the video conference call & still having the personal instruction that you can ask questions as you think of them.

Lessons are $25 per hour with a 1 hour minimum. An invoice will be emailed to you & must be paid prior to the lesson to guarantee your appointment time.

Please see my Instruction page HERE for specific details. 

While you can operate your machine with the free basic software, I highly encourage you to upgrade your software to Designer Edition to have less frustration & be able to work with different file types a lot easier. If you only plan to use designs from the Silhouette store, then the basic software is perfect for you. However, if you want to use designs you pick up other places, such as .svg files, then the Designer Edition is for you.

You can search for sales and deals on the software upgrade in many places. I would recommend looking at Swingdesign.com and Amazon to see who has the best deal. Trust me that once you see what your machine is capable, you will feel that the Designer Edition is worth every penny.

There are lots of great sites to learn how to use your Silhouette machine & you will often see me post information from them. I use them too!
But, if you are looking for personal instruction feel free to get in touch with me!
Take a look at my page HERE for more details or send me an email at silhouettesecretsplus@gmail.com.

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Hope you enjoy creating with your machine as much as I do!
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‘Twas the Night before Christmas

I’ve seen variations of this all over and I just had to try it.

This was a bit difficult to weed the vinyl but I was determined. I wanted this image on my charger plate. I ended up cutting it twice and then coaxing it along while weeding & applying it, but I love the end result.

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I decided I needed to cut up the words a bit & applied in pieces. It seemed to lay on the charger & go on better with less bubbles.

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And done….. another Christmas decoration off my to- do list.

I hope you enjoy your Christmas Eve!

Personalized Christmas gifts

After one of my retreats with Terri Johnson Creates this summer, I brought home my finished glass etching ornaments and my husband asked if I could make something for a few of his co-workers. It started as a personalized ornament, but then we changed it to beer glasses….. I love that I can personalize an item with my Silhouette and a few basic supplies.

He thought of the individualization he wanted on each and that is what I worked with.
I found images of what he wanted and traced them and then worked with a font that would be bold and readable.

Here are the designs I came up with:
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I cut these out of vinyl and then we applied them to the glasses. Hubby wanted to help with the project and remembered to grab a couple photos of the process.

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Hubby is applying the vinyl to the glass above and smoothing it out to make sure it has a tight seal around the edges where we want to apply the etching cream.

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Then we apply painters tape around the edges of the design, just in case the etching cream goes outside the area of the vinyl.

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And I am amazed each time I rinse that etching cream off and peel back my stencil. I love this etched glass look and it really adds to these plain ole glasses.
Now, I wish I had remembered to take photos of the rest of them before he took them with him to work.
There’s always something I forget!!!

Another Christmas gift complete!
Enjoy!

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Blessed Season

The year my oldest was born I knew I needed to change up how I scrapbooked after ending up with 4 – 12 x 12 books from her 1st year. I started looking into it and found scrapbooking digitally using Photoshop Elements. As I began to learn PSE, I joined Creative Teams for digital designers that had opening.
One of those was for Studio4 Designworks.
Here is a layout I created with her newest kit called Blessed Season.

The photo was taken at the hotel we stayed at in Chincoteague, VA a few weeks back. We stayed 2 days and in that time they were changing out the decorations from Fall to Christmas and it was gorgeous.

Blessed Season by Studio4 Designworks

Blessed Season is available in Studio4 Designworks store at GoDigitalScrapbooking or theStudio.

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I hope you have a very Blessed Season!
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