Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

This is the gift that I made to give to my sweet and wonderful husband for Valentine's Day. I found the quote online. It is by Karen Sande. I couldn't figure out where to put the author's name without detracting, so I'm probably going to put it on a small sticker on the back where it will be hidden by the vinyl, but still there to give credit. The glass plaque was a photo frame from a dollar store somewhere, and I bought it over two years ago. It's hard to find the curved glass frames anymore, at least without some unwanted additional decoration that might not come off. I soaked the photo frame part off. Adding the vinyl cuts to a curved glass surface is a little tricky. I didn't get it perfectly centered, but once it's down, it's down. I bought the black and metallic brass vinyl from a sign shop while visiting Salt Lake City, also a few years ago, so I don't remember the name of the shop.

I used a variety of Cricut cartridges to make this, but were it not for my Gypsy, I would have no clue as to which ones. The design work was a two day or more process, so now my brain is numb. According to my Gypsy, they were:

Botanicals Lite
Calligraphy Collection
Home Decor
Lacy Labels Lite
Plantin Schoolbook
Wall Decor and More

Botanicals, Home Decor, Calligraphy Collection, and Plantin Schoolbook were used for the words (I think).

Lacy Labels was what I used to make the frame for the words. I had to get a little sneaky to get the black heart outlines to go inside the hearts of the frame. The label comes with hearts to layer on top of the frame. However, I wanted an outline of the heart(s), not a solid heart. I copied and pasted the heart overlays so I had four sets (you can't separate the hearts within the set). One set I reduced in size till it fit within the other heart set(s) to suit me. Then I made two more copies of the smaller set. I had to separate each set onto different sections on the mat. I used the Gypsy to hide the hearts I wanted to exclude from the cut, then overlaid each set of smaller hearts onto the regular sized hearts (which I had also reduced in size a little). That allowed me to cut a heart outline. I'm sorry if it isn't clear enough, but if you open the file and try to make a smaller heart overlay using the Gypsy, you'll see why I had to get sneaky. Hopefully these directions will be clear if you want to do something like this.

Wall Decor and More was where I got the additional flourishes. They were from the compass/font option. The smaller flourish was cut down by hand. It hadn't cut properly for some reason, and it worked well as an additional small flourish for the small heart.

I have it waiting in the entry way with my card, so my husband will see it when he comes home.

Friday, February 4, 2011

February Make & Take and Vagabond review

I designed this journal spot for a heritage layout using a Spellbinder Lacy Circles Nesting die and the Tattered Angels Time Traveler stamp set that I bought at the LSS recently. I bought them because I liked them, not because I planned to use them for a Make & Take, but they came in handy when I was trying to figure out a new project for this month.

The LSS now has the Tim Holtz Vagabond die cutter for classroom use, so I had a chance to try it. The cutting process was really nice. I had brought my Cuttlebug to do the die-cutting and embossing, but since they had the Vagabond, I wanted to see how it performed. They didn't have a plate the width of my Cuttlebug C plate, which was needed to cut a Spellbinder die, but the other plates and platform were the same thickness, so I just used my C plate instead of a B plate. It cut like a dream, and it was much easier on my shoulder than cranking the handle on my Cuttlebug.

Then I tried embossing. I used the same sandwich that I normally use to emboss with the same Spellbinder die, but it seemed to be more difficult for the machine. Since I worried I might break it and didn't want to have to pay to replace the machine, I didn't try to do any more embossing with the Vagabond. Instead I used my Cuttlebug to emboss with the Spellbinder die.

I'm sure the Vagabond would do fine with the embossing folders made by Tim Holtz, but I don't think I'll try embossing Spellbinder dies again on the Vagabond unless I can find out from Tim Holtz whether or not it will hold up to that extra pressure Spellbinder dies require. It probably would, but I wasn't going to risk the store's machine.

The Vagabond is a very nice machine, but it was made to cut and emboss Tim Holtz dies and embossing folders. I'm not sure it was meant to handle all the competitors' products, too. If I can find out for certain whether or not it will do it all, I'll post an update later.