5 awesome cool things that you didn't know your Silhouette could do :D


1. Did you know that included in the free cutfiles that come with your Silhouette there is one to help you customise your control panel?



2.  If you use scraps on your mat to cut out different colours for your design you can not only use up your scraps instead of a new sheet of cardstock, you can also cut all of the pieces at once so that you don't have to keep coming back to cut each individual colour.


cutfile from the Cut Shoppe

3.  Have you noticed this funny little hole on your Silhouette?  At first I thought it was just a place to hold the ratchet-y thing that you use to change the blade setting.  but it just kept falling off and getting lost and then I may or may not have used my teeth to change the blade setting ;)  Recently I found out that it actually is a built-in ratchet!  Wow, do my teeth feel stupid ;)


4. Did you ever have a cutfile you loved but it was just a little too thick or too thin?  Or maybe you wanted to mat it with another cut?  I've tried to adjust images and text before by changing the size, but the dimensions were still too thick or thin. And when I tried to mat things this way the images or text didn't line up.  I just discovered the Offset function! It's fantastic for making things the thickness you want or adding mats!

I love taking cutfiles from the Cut Shoppe and making them really big, but I find they get too thick, so I love to use the Offset function to thin them out and make them look their best.


5.  I recently posted this layout where I used my Silhouette to make the holes for the stitching.  I thought I could use one of the dotted lines in the Line Style function, but they were too 'dash-y' and I needed holes.  A quick google search turned up a tutorial by Corri Garza that showed me how to run a text along the outside of my cutfile, a text with only periods that would then be just a bunch of circles.


3 Free Planner Tutorials for You!



The first video come out tomorrow so you don't want to miss out! To get the videos just put your name and email in right here and you'll get an email from me tomorrow:


You can go here to learn more.

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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


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:
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second trace:
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You'll get pieces like these:
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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.
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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!


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


How to use Your Cut Files to make FUN shaped cards in 7 Easy Steps :D



Shaped card tutorial by Cara Vincens



bat owl by PPdN Designs
hockey skate by Sarah Bailey

Here are the steps to making your own shaped cards. I've broken it down for you so that even if you are a beginner die cutter, you can make shaped cards :D  I use a silhouette, but you can adapt the steps to your electronic die cutter.


Step 1  Decide on a cut file whose shape would make a good card and resize it.  I like to go roughly 4X6 (10x15cm) so that it will fit in a standard envelope.

tip resize all of the pieces of the design at the beginning so that they will all fit together once the card is finished.


Step 2  Open the TRACE window, and selecte Trace Outer Edge, to trace around only the outside edge.  Move everything else aside for now, including the piece you just traced, leaving just the traced outer edge. 


 tip You may want to rotate the image to get a straight line on top (if you want a flip up card) or on the left side (if you want a regular card) to make a nice fold.  For example, I lined up the two points of my bat's ears on the same line on the grid.


Step 3 In the Replicate window, choose mirror above if you want your card to flip up or mirror left if you want your card to open like a book.



tip If the tops of your images (in a flip up card) or sides (in a regular card) don't completely touch, you may want to draw lines at each end where the images meet.  I made mine big, fat and blue below so you can see better.



Step 4  Next, open the Trace window and trace around the outer edge again, getting both versions of the image.  Then, you can get rid of the other images.  Don't forget the little lines if you used those.

tip  You can group the pieces before tracing to make deleting them all easier.



Step 5 Now, you need to make a score line so your card will fold easily.  Move your image so that one fo the lighter grey lines from the grid runs right where you want your fold to be.  This makes it easier to get a straight score line.  It doesn't matter if that means putting parts of your image off of the cutting area, you can move it all later.  Open the Line Style window and choose a dashed line.  With the Draw a line tool from the menu on the left, draw your score line.



Step 6 Select both the score line and the complete design and group them. (See tip from step 4)



Step 7  Move the piece to where you'd like it and cut!  Cut other pieces from the design as usual and have fun decorating your card :D

I'm working on my Christmas cards next! Keep an eye out for them coming here soon, along with something fun that I have in the works!! :D

Owl-bat-card Skate


An Easy-Peasy, Happy, Little Summer Mini Album You Can Make Today.


Die cut mini album

Amanda Robinson Studio 

I am so very excited to share this project with you, it was a lot fun to put together, I hope you like it as much as I do! The very first thing that I thought of when I saw Amanda’s cute Scribble Words die cuts was ‘Wouldn’t these make a great mini album!’ So that’s exactly what I did. :D I cut out each die cut from both sets and layered them over patterned paper.  Here’s my step by step process of how I made my album.

1. I cut the die cuts from white card stock and then decided on my background colours, I laid the white die cut on the possible patterned papers to make sure there was enough contrast to read the white words.


To read the rest, come on over to Amanda Robinson Studio.  Then don't forget to come back and show me what you made :D

21 FUN ways to use PRINTABLES and DIE CUTS on your next scrapbook page

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There are so many pretty die cuts and printables out there, it's hard to even know where to start! Honestly, it can be a little overwhelming at times.  Not to mention, that once I started using cut files and printables, I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over and after a while everything started looking the same and I decided I needed to liven things up.  So I got creative and made a list of different ways to use both cut files and printables and here is what I came up with.


1.  Make a shaker box with a 'hole' in the die cut.  Glue a clear top to the back of the die cut (I used a bit of packaging), add foam adhesive all around the outside (with no space between so nothing can fall out) and with your die cut facing down put in sequins, beads or confetti.  Then, add a piece of cardstock to the back to hold it all in.  It's ready to go on your page!


To read the rest just click over to digitalscrapbookinghq.com :D