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Merry Christmas!!

Christmas-2014-CARD-english-web


What is it About December that Makes Us Get Crafty? :D

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First up are two layouts that I made for the Cut Shoppe.  I LOVE their cut files and these layouts were up on the Cut Shoppe blog this month.  Check out the posts for more detail of the layouts.
Never home for the holidays
Jingle Bells

Never-home-for-the-holidays

Jingle-bells-full

 

Yesterday, was the 'ChrĂ«schtmaart' or Christmas market at the school.  The children were selling their crafts with proceeds going to charity.  Here are some of the crafts my little artists made.

These are ornaments that Anthony made:

Anthony-ornaments

 

 

Love these angels.  The big white one was made by little Hector and those little ones are by Juliet and are actually made by empty Nespresso capsules, love that upcycle aspect.  Anthony made the candle in religion class.

Angels

 

These boxes were both made by Philippe, so cute!  Hector made the lion calendar, he's excited to have it up on the wall beside the family calendar.

Boxes and calendar

And even little Cedric made this cute ornament in 'creche' (daycare).

Cedric-ornaments

What have you made this December? Please share with us :D


How to Make Your Own Handmade Christmas Card Process Stress Free

Christmas-card-assembly-line Christmas-cards-text

Some people find the monotonous task of making all those cards boring, but I find it calming.  I'll put on a Christmas movie and I'm able to craft on auto pilot.

The best tip I can give you is to keep it simple.  

I don't make cards that open, it's just a postcard style card so I can cut six 4X6 card fronts out of one 12x12 piece of cardstock. 
* I use products that are easy to find in bulk, like my doilies.  I use a lot of cardstock as well.  Last year, I added rhinestones which came 100 to a sheet.
* Reusable supplies are fantastic.  I stamped my message on the back of each card.
* If you use stamps, make that one of your first steps.  It's really hard to get a crisp image once everything is already stuck on the card.
* Make it fun! Put on the Christmas carols or a holiday movie, get the kids involved. Unless they are like mine, one year they made a mess of my envelopes and I ended up addressing them all myself :)

 

If you make your own, I'd love to see!  Please share, and I can do a round up of them on the blog next week :D

Christmas-cards-assembly

I am working hard on my Planner class.  It's a class to help you make a planner that works perfectly for you. If you'd like me to send you more information as it becomes available, you can sign up here:

 


How You can use Digital Templates in Your Electronic Die Cutter

 

Digital-template-die-cut-card-tutorialhover over the image to pin this tutorial to be able to come back to it easily

Text

The Scrapbook Campus is running a super fun and FREE 12 days of Christmas event.  If you sign up, you'll receive an email each day with a free template and a link to a tutorial like this one that will give you some fun ideas on using digital templates :D  To get this template that I'm using you must sign up before tomorrow's email gets sent out, so go now ;)

Okay, ready to get started?  Let's go!

The Card

I'll be working with Photoshop and my Silhouette Cameo but I'll mention ways to do these steps with PaintShop Pro and a Cricut as well.

The templates from the Scrapbook Campus are in various shades of grey so we need to increase the contrast so that the Trace feature of the die-cutter will pick them up.

In Photoshop, open the template and flatten the image.  
In Image > Adjustments > levels move the sliders so that the darkest part of the template is almost black.  I actually lost the square behind the diamond in the centre, but it's okay, stick with me I get it back in the end ;)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.29.40 AM

In Paintshop Pro, you can do the same thing in Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > brightness/contrast or levels.

Next, save it and move to your electronic die-cutter software and open it there. 

Resize it to fit your work space.
In the Silhouette software, using the Trace function, go to Select Trace Area and trace around the template image.
Turn off the High Pass Filter and adjust the Threshold until you get it the way you want and then trace.  
I actually traced it twice.  Once, to trace all the elements, and then a second trace to get the outline of the entire card, because the front of the card is still grey and didn't get picked up by the trace function as easily.  With the second trace, I used Trace Outer Edge

first trace:
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.20.16 AM

second trace:
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 5.12.20 PM

You'll get pieces like these:
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.20.49 AM
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.24.10 AM

For the Cricut, you'll need to be a Design Space user.

Upload your image.
Select simple, moderate or complex depending on the contrast between the image and the background.
Use select tool to remove background.

This is a great time to add score lines. Use a dotted line and with the help of the grid to get it centred and straight, draw a line across the middle.
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.27.46 AM

Next, you can cut the pieces as usual on whatever paper you'd like.

The Envelope

Repeat the steps for the envelope.  This time, I actually traced around each individual piece.  And again, I added in the score lines the same way as with the card.
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.40.36 AM

Cut, decorate and give it away to put a smile on someone's face!

Cara-12-days-template-card

If you've enjoyed this tutorial, please share it so that others can play too :D

Tweet: Making cut files for your die-cutter from digital templates is easy with this tutorial from @caravincens

It's so easy to translate a digital template to your die-cutter.  Another idea: if you've used your template in the traditional sense and made a digital card, you can use this tutorial to cut out your project, add score lines etc.  And if you have a Silhouette, there's always the print and cut option. 

If you have any questions whatsoever don't hesitate to ask any questions either in the comments or shoot me an email at cara@thehootingpirate.com

I added my cards from the Creative Christmas bundle to my etsy shop, so if you missed that deadline but still would like the cards, check them out :D

Phrases 4x6 watermark

Hairy Christmoose 4x6 watermark

Santa-doily-4X6-watermark


Easy Christmas Crafts and Gifts You Can Make Today!

Hello and welcome to my first post with the Make it Monday Blog Circle!

Don't forget that today is the last day for our Creative Christmas Bundle! You really don't want to miss out, you get soooo many fun and fabulous goodies for only $29.99. 15 products, and not to mention all the bonuses :D Today we want to show you a bit more of the products in action, so some of us are using and showcasing each other's products from the bundle.

You may have come here from Connie's blog, if not run and check out her fabulous gingerbread house post She's using bit and pieces from our Creative Christmas bundle in a new layout :D

Next, hop on over to see Karen at Photos Kept Alive.  She has a new step by step tutorial for using a card & envelope sketch as part of the Scrapbook Campus' 12 Days of Christmas.

But, before you run off, I've been busy :D  I printed off some of my own printable Christmas cards and some pocket style cards from Margareta's Dream December pack from our Creative Christmas bundle.  I also made Lisa's cozy tea holder, also from the bundle, cute huh? 

Creativecristmasbundle

I love this little tea holder.  I added 2 peppermint tea bags to pockets on the inside and it took no time at all to make.  These are perfect to add to a mug for a gift or as a last minute gift by itself!Lisas-cozy-tea-holder

 

These pretty cards are perfect for my December Daily!  It starts today :D  I can't wait to use them.Margaretas-3X4-cards

 

And here are my cards, they are nice to have on hand to give out but I'm planning on using them in my December Daily album as well.Printable-Christmas-cards

 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you come back next Monday and don't forget to go get your Creative Christmas Bundle before they disappear!

Connie Ochoa Hanks's photo.