scrappystickyinkymess


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Interesting art journal techniques

I made a page where I tried out a couple of odd things.  The first was an I wonder…? thing.  I wondered if tinting water with acrylic ink might alter the effect of water-over-Distress ink.  Simple enough to test.

I smudged the ink over a bit of paper – not particularly carefully, or blended particularly smoothly.  Just decent coverage

I added a drop or two of acrylic ink in white to a small mister bottle.  I misted the left with plain water then the right with the white-tinted ink. Only managed to remember to take a photo of the white side.  Doh!

After letting it sit, and blotting off the excess you can see there is a slightly more…opaque look, I think, to the white mist side.

I agree, it is not a starling difference, but it seems like the stencil outlines are more defined and less, well, distressed I guess.  I also added a drop of a teal colour and also a bit of white to another mister and did a different area:

This resulted in more of a halo in the darker teal at the edges.  Again, subtle, not dramatic.  Interesting and well worth playing with to refine the concept.  I also saw a thumbnail on YouTube of a hedgehog painting using a snipped-in-strips loo roll tube as a paintbrush.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea, had a loo roll or two I could rescue from the recycling bin, and gave it a go. I tried it in dark Payne’s Grey, and used it in white on my page.

One is snipped quite closely in very fine shreds (dark) and the other is snipped a little wider.  I expected to like the thinner more, and I ended up liking the fatter more. Or maybe it is the light vs dark that pushed me that way,  time will tell. Here is the page:

Since he text is a stencil I cut, what I SHOULD have done was re-cut it laid out so I didn’t have to line up the words – something I am clearly not good at.  But otherwise I am pretty happy with the page. 

Overall I am happy with the way it is going in this experimental journal.  Finding my way again, trying new techniques as they occur to me, playing and having fun.  Frankly I need the distraction, and it is kinda working.

Lastly, I noticed that the image of the stencils that I have multiples of was missing from yesterday’s post. Happy to consider any trade of an item you have multiples of, not just stencils. I’ll probably re-post this for next week’s WOYWW – or maybe offer them as giveaways for the 600 week Zoom Crop. Now that’s an idea….


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WOYWW 595 DIYing like mad

Howdy Y’all and Happy WOYWW again.  After a pretty tiring week up in Salisbury, I am now playing the waiting game to see how much of an improvement I get from the treatment.  It wears me out, but probably just the early rise, long drive, and stress of leaving the house LOL!

Let’s see.  What is on my desk this week? First let me show my head-swap from last week.  Quite pleased with the results.  Hard to read but the stamped image says Your Artistic License has just been revoked.

MOSTLY what is all over my desks are bits and pieces of various things I have been creating. It isn’t very taxing or time consuming, so easy enough even when I don’t feel up to doing much. I grabbed a few magazines at the hospital shop, and cut out a few silhouettes that I think will work on journal pages.

I am always looking for an interesting outline that I can use.  The ladies faces are line drawing I converted into stencils.  I’ve used them, they are OK, once you fill in the bridges (gaps in the lines) that keep the whole inside from falling out in one blob.

Here is a trio of pages where you can see one of them

Both quotes (Hey, hey, hey now don’t be mean and Mystery is the source of all true art and science) are from a movie, although as the tiny little line of text says Einstein expressed the sentiment, but Buckaroo (Banzai) said it better. Love that movie SO MUCH. You will also see another movie line in the stencils I cut here:

No matter where you go, there you are. The blacked out bit is another quote, Creativity takes courage.  Matisse, not Banzai in this case! Another conglomeration of stencils.  I have used the weird arcs and the glyphs and the globe and the quote.  I have a plan for the circuit board too – oh and the cluster of roses I used on the journal cover.  

I cut some stamps out of fun foam, from a die. What I love about that process is depending on whether I cut from the foam side or the backing paper side, the stamp orients a different direction. So every time I can cut a mirror image if I want.  Looking forward to testing that out!

Looking forward to testing this one out as well.  I think it is going to look fab. 

Lastly, anyone want to swap for a stencil?  I ended up with FOUR of these (don’t ask) and while I do really like the images, I do NOT need four of them.  They are 5×5 inches. Got a mistakenly bought duplicate you want to trade? Leave me a comment, and I’ll get in touch. 

 

I did well last week, visiting every desk, commenting where I could, and saw lots of fun and amazing art.  I have missed this and am glad I have been able to join in. Here’s hoping the IVIG really takes and I feel like dancing in a month. Will there be dancing on the WOYWW 600 Zoom, I wonder?  Oh dear!


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Confetti is not a victimless crime

Finally done with the hospital, although it is likely to be a month or so before I really feel the benefit of the infusion.  Based on the last one, I expect it’ll be a coupe of blood tests before I can see a drop in my CK levels and a real return to strength.  I had to crawl under my desk the other day to re-connect my mouse and I was in fear I would not be able to stand up unassisted!  Ugh.

The week has been stressful and tiring but I managed (over a few days) to make a page in my journal – pretty much sums up how I am feeling.

 

I created the text from a few different things. 

The little Confetti is not a victimless crime stamp is from a long ago grab bag.  Lots of good ones in the bag, actually, but this one was my absolute fave.  The other bit is from a Jane Davenport stamp set and if you look at the link you can see I cut off a couple of bits, top and bottom.  The I am and but are from different alphabet stamp sets, one def. from Banana Frog and one from a Scrap-a-go-go kit (?) or maybe retreat goodie bag, can’t recall.  Wondering if AND rather than BUT might have been better….The globe-like thing I cut as a stencil.  I wish the confetti had stamped clearer, but my archival ink pad needs re-inking.  Typical.  I HAVE the ink, I just didn’t remember it needed that.

Again with the stencil cutting.  I DID buy some mylar sheets, and they do work with a deep cut (60 degree) blade.  BUT buried in my stash was a HUGE stack of HiTi dye-sub printer sheets with labels on them. 

 

Seriously.  I must have over 150 sheets. They are labelled as either 4×4 or 4×6 but the size of the backing is about 5 3/4 x 6 inches.  And they are wipeable and reasonably sturdy.

I hate to waste stuff and I hate to buy stuff if I have things that will work.  This is pretty exciting. cause it means I can just play around with any design that strikes my fancy! I think I could even tape 4 together to create a big stencil, depending on the design placement.  Of all the things I have tried, this one is by far the best.  I have one more Idea I want to try , to see if it works, and if it does, I’ll report back on it.  While I am well aware that there are not going to be many people who have this sort of resource tucked away in their craft room, I just think it bears mentioning, because you never know what you DO have that might work!

Back to finish my WOYWW visits now!


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Odd stencil material

Thank you so very much to all the commenters who suggested that I print my journal and sell copies. If there were time and I had any method of doing it, I would, and donate the money to one of the great causes at Crooked Media, like VoteSaveAmerica. But I am just not one who sells my “art.” And in point of fact, I very much hope in a few more weeks it will be irrelevant. It would take me that long to organize it. But thank you, All the positive comment (at least as of when I typed this) outweigh the naysayers. That give me hope.

Many, MANY years ago I was at a local place that sold house and Office clearance stuff. We bought many a book case from them. Many. I used to buy all kinds of oddball things from them. I bought some weird foam stamps, possibly since disposed of or donated to a school, some magazine racks and desktop dividers, and once, I bought this transfer film.

I think I’ve used it before, by printing on to it and sticking it over…something.  Maybe a set of ATCs? Not sure.  I don’t think it worked brilliantly, but I tend towards hoarding, so I’ve kept it.

The other day I wanted to cut some stencils.  I cut some from transparent sleeves, like I have done in the past, but they are so thin, they work less well than I would like. 

I usually add a cardstock or duct tape frame but my supply of duct tape is running a little low right now. Probably hard to really see, but I think you can imagine, the film is floppy and it can be a struggle to keep it still while using with paint or ink.

At some point I thought about the Transtext film.  Not the FILM, which is basically a very thin, self-adhesive, fragile full-sheet sticker, but the BACKING.  That stuff is like release paper.  It can be wiped off (unlike paper) and cuts really well on my second-hand Cricut (Thank you Scrapdolly!) with SCAL.  I love the use of faces in art journal pages and I love the feminine but very simple silhouettes. They come from a service I pay for, which lets me use them for both personal and commercial use.  I had cut the page protector version (giving me both mask and stencil) but wasn’t happy.  I was VERY happy with the version cut from the Transtext stuff. I bought the pack I have for like 50p but they sell it now on Amazon.  Not sure I would recommend it at that price!

The release paper will NOT stick to the Cricut mat, but the back of the film will.  Which is OK because when it does stick (and it is dang hard to fully remove) the upwards facing bits are, well, STICKY.  So I just use the one mat always for this. Look. Ugh.

You can scrape it off, and I do, every few cuts, but it hasn’t impeded the cutting so I don’t worry about doing it every time.

Some of the stencils:

I still have to be a bit careful of things like the curl of hair, but that’s fine. I cut LOTS for that art journal project.

Some are stencil-ized photos, some my own design. Oh, and the blades for the Cricut work amazingly well.  I love the 60 degree one – I assume equal to a “deep cut” blade?

Obviously I need a better solution.  I have seen that there is thin stencil film you can buy, an maybe it would cut OK, but at the moment, I am OK with this material. I would be very interested in what other people use. Also if there is interest in the .SVGs of the ladies silhouettes.  Still not sure how best to share them other than going back to good ‘ole Dropbox, if I can even remember how to use it! Anyway, LMK on both topics please. If you have a got-to item for stencil cutting do share!


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Artistic Flair Crafts – coupon code for YOU!

I got a lovely email from a new UK company called Artistic Flair Crafts.  They offered me a coupon code to try out a few products.  It was the perfect excuse to drag out my Gelli plate, as some of their main products are stencils!  I do love a good stencil.

I selected a range of them – 4×4 inch ones

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6×6 inch ones – and yes, either by me clicking wrong or by a glitch in the ordering (combined with me not double-checking) I ended up with two of the same design!  DOH!

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and A4 sized ones. And something they call TABS.  Loving them and wish I had more time to perfect the use of them.

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I tried scraping the pain thru the stencil, but was a bit careless cause I was rushing.  And scraping thru, without a bit of light adhesive to keep the stencil in place, was a bit silly.    I know they will be fab with sprays or sponging thru them, for art journal pages or layouts.

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Another unique item is the cake topper stencil.  I got small cupcake ones but they have a nice range of bigger ones (8 inches) too. And cake SIDE stencils are Coming Soon.

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So cute.  Obviously I don’t make cakes, but with a little surgery I converted one of these for Gelli plate use:

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I think they would work nicely with the round plate  – I like the fact that the stencil is designed as a circle, radiating out from the centre, so the effect is not just a regular stencil in a circle. IYKWIM.

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I only had a few minutes to play, so my samples are not hugely inspiring but everything is still all out all over my desk so I may try to find a bit more time and carry on.  It was fun!

They also have a range of cute little wooden shapes, if stencils aren’t your thing. Aren’t these adorable?

Most importantly, here is a code you can use at checkout to get 20% off for yourselves!

SCRAPPYSTICKY

Let me know what you buy!


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Stencil storage – finally happy!

Just a handful of return visits for WOYWW, then more cleaning, food shopping, blah, blah, blah.  It’s just endless.

BUT I keep finding things I bought ages ago and always intended to use for one thing but now find them perfect for another.  This is one of those things.  It’s a fairly big (A2, so about 16.5 x 23.5 inches) with just a handful of sleeves and 4-hole ring binder set up.  Of course virtually all my 12 x 12 sleeves are 3-hole punched but I solved that easy enough by punching a template or the 4 holes

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clipped it securely to a stack of page protectors – matching up one of the holes seemed to be the best placement

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then used the Big Bite to punch new holes.  I found punching thru a stack of them (three to four) was actually better/easier/cleaner than punching thru ONE, and the Big Bite was better than the Cropadile.

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I kept most of the A4 size stencils, paper and report cover ones I cut with the Cricut, in an A4 binder in A4 sleeves.  There are too many of them and the binders and sleeves are cheap (free, in fact, cause I have so many of them kicking around!)

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and I found a cheap, thin, paper pad that I used between the back-to-back stencils so I can clearly see what they look like

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In the portfolio, I have the 4-6×6-to-a-page sleeves but to keep the centre from being too bulky I used only some of the holes – does that make sense? So some are towards the top, using maybe the top three rings, some in the middle and some at the bottom, using the bottom two rings.

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Then I have the 12×12 sleeves with all the standard stencils – some of the old Crafters Workshop ones that are punched for storing in a binder have been added without a sleeve.

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In the larger sleeves that came in the portfolio (annoyingly they are NOT 12 inches across) I have some of the oddball ones – plastic canvas sheets, teflon cooking mat, big letter and number stencils from the hardware store, and one sleeve full of crappy magazine freebies that I haven’t used yet, but MIGHT, someday …. LOL!  Not totally mended my wicked ways, have I?

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The front has a sort of flap/pocket area that fits the cardboard that has textured wallpaper on it, some of my favourite texture tools for Gelli printing.

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They are painty and hard to get into a sleeve sometimes so this is better, having them all grouped like this.

Now there are just these two places, rather than the Crop in Style binder, the A4 binder, a large file box, and a couple of book rings, to look thru when wanting a stencil.

stencilstore

There is still room in the portfolio for more, so I have room to grow!

Now, back to those visits….

 

 


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Stencil letterpress

I saw this video late one night and fancied having a go, but I have very few wood veneer pieces.  A star from last year’s advent calendar and a couple of trees, I think, and that is about it.

The star worked, although I had the same problem she had with one area impressing too deeply and cracking:

star
 I was looking for other things that might work and decided to try some chipboard.

fauxletterpress

It worked too, although the pigment ink soaked in to the chipboard more than I would have liked on some pieces – and getting the pieces down on the cardstock in any sort of reasonable alignment was tricky,  The pigment ink is so wet and stays wet for so long, even the tiniest dot on a finger tip ends up on the final piece.

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But the emboss is quite deep, which is nice. Also some cracking…not so nice.  I did play around with the idea of coating the chipboard with gel medium to keep the surface from peeling away when you pull it off, but the brush strokes (and even the texture from the brayer, using my Gelli plate-to-coat trick) show.  Maybe the kind of chipboard that has a coating on it would be the best kind for this.

So I have done faux letterpress with embossing folders but the real problem with that is it’s so hard to skim the paint or ink on just the raised bits and not into the open areas.  But as I had the big shout out anyway, and a couple of new stencils, I thought why not try those?

stencilletterpress

Not bad – some darker areas along the lines where the ink was heavier, and the stencil has a border around it, like many stencils do.  I played around with cutting a mask, which helped, but you still get the embossing even if you don’t get the ink:

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I may play around with it a bit more, but the best plan seems to be just to trim it – which makes it less like letterpress!  But overall it looks better.

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Stencils without a border are clearly the best choice for this, but I only have maybe three like that so not ideal.

You can see on the back the emboss is decent – not as deep as the veneer but it doesn’t crack at all.

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Well work further play.  I must go back and watch a few more of her videos – I always liked her work in scrapbook mags and books and her cards are cute, but she seems to have a lot of technique videos.  I am ALWAYS on the look out for them!

Off to make falafel.  Should have bought some while I was out, then I could keep playing…. oh well….

 


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AJ page – Storm in my head (stencil shift)

I was thinking about the fact that I so often make stencils Using my Cricut.  Not everyone has one, so I was thinking of stencils I could make with other tools.  I thought about windows, and my Nestabilities.

So I took a filmstrip die – now this die cuts as a rectangle, and I thought that would suit my purposes.

AJStorm

On a Gessoed page I sponged on dark green paint

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Replacing the stencil but shifting it slightly (I know I saw this someplace – could have been a Stencil Girl video but it’s been a while so I’m not sure) I sponged some lighter lime green paint over it. They key here is that you need good coverage and heavy bodied paint.

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It gives it a bit of a halo effect.  I added some olive-green Pitt pen, smudged along the join of the two paints for a little more depth, but given how much I layers over it, it was perhaps a wasted step!

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I scribbled some purples onto the background

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and blended them with a baby wipe, letting some of the purple skitter over the rough texture of the page

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Then I carried on with the usual – some stencils, some stamps, some punchinella stenciling, some tiny scripty text, and some BIG stamps in black.  That gave me a nice complex background.  Over a particularly busy area, I stencilled a face that I cut (sorry, back to the Cricut, but this time with SCAL tracing the image.

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I masked the lower compass so it (I hope) looks like it’s in front of the face. I stamped the “title” – do you call it a title when it’s and AJ page?  I do, but more as a way to call a particular page to mind,  less as a TITLE, IYKWIM.

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Now off to file paperwork.  And maybe try to finish up the last two cards from the Marathon – although cause I have to photo of the sample and only the barest memory of what the cards actually looked like, that may all come to nothing…..


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The Distress Spritzer? well, not REALLY…..

This is one of those posts that is a weird confluence of events.  Someone once asked me Where do your ideas come from?  I thought for fun I would document it – the steps may be unique, but the process isn’t. It’s just the way my mind works and the benefit of a messy desk  Feel free to just look at the photos – they should tell you all you REALLY need to know.

1. I got an email from a UKS sponsor announcing they had received the new Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer.  

The more I looked at it the more I was convinced I had one.  Not that exact thing, but something pretty similar. So I had a bit of a hunt and sure enough, in with my stamping markers (a drawer not opened since I got my Copics) there it was.

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This has to be 15-20 years old – I know I got it while in the USA so it would have to be.  I had a check for the name and while I see the odd reference to it they no longer sell it that I can find.

2. I popped a few random markers in to it.  One thing I can see is that mine seems to be lacking the inner liner for the pen-holder.  Not a big deal, it works well enough without it but I could always as one of those rubber pencil grips to super thin pens and I bet that would do the trick.

3.  As I was looking across my desk, my eye landed on one of my watercolour brush pens.  I thought, I wonder….

Now, I only have maybe two watercolour brush pens.  I’ve meant to buy some, after seeing Dyan from Art from the Heart show how she has as many water brush pens as she has colours of Dylusions and she uses them to colour with.  But I just never got around to it.  Deep in the back of my mind I had a tickle.  I KNEW that somewhere, probably in DDs “art cupboard” I had some kids version of the waterbrushes.  And guess what? Not only did I have them, I found them.

waterbrush

I know we got them maybe 8-10 years ago at Costco. Some of them are fairly empty.  I deconstructed one of them, thinking I could just replace the cheap ink with good ink, although I thought as the Dylusions aren’t waterproof either, I might as well just pick one or two of the near-empty ones to play with and use up the rest of the ink with mixed media stuff rather than just empty them.

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There is no seal on the pens, which surprises me as it’s for the kids market.  I would expect them to be sealed and you would need to buy new ones once these ran out. But no, they disassemble just fine.

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I tossed out the cartridge and the little slim tube.  For use with the spritzer you don’t WANT to slow the flow, like you would with a potentially messy pen, with kids, so I binned the cartridge and the tube.

4.  What to fill it with?  Obviously ink is going to be pretty much the same as using a marker, but then…

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Perfect.  Acrylic liquid ink. This gives me something, a matte and almost chalky look, that I am not going to get from a marker (I only have ONE Distress marker, the Picket fence one, so I don’t really know if that would be similar to using acrylic ink) and is waterproof. Note:

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And wipe over it with a baby wipe

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The ink on the wipe is not from the acrylic ink, it’s from rubbing the paint off the stencil.  It give a nice watercolour-y effect.  I also did the flip-and-stamp you might normally do with an ink loaded stencil. The acrylic ink dries really fast so the stamping part has to be done after a spritz of water  on the slick surface of the stencil, and you can also then smear the acrylic ink thru the stencil with a wipe. Kinda both on the same area here

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5.  And then, of course, there is WHITE.

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Using the spritzer gives you a way more controlled spray than the spray bottle does, so you would use this for either the Acrylic ink OR the Dylusions for this sort of scatter.

So there you go.  I’m still in my jammies and my hands are covered with ink and paint, and my stamp-storage tower (with the wood-mount stamps, where the Blitzer was hiding) is pretty much dumped out on the floor, but now I have a new toy to play with, a whole heap of waterbrushes, a bunch of ink to use up, and it’s only just after 9 AM.  Or was when I started typing….

And Texas Flood is playing from my playlist, the accident payment has been sent, DH is back from his conference, so no school run, and the house is pretty tidy (well, downstairs, anyway) and the laundry done.  Where can the day go from here?  Downhill, probably, but I can always hope ….

{grin}


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Using Cricut Craft Room to design stencils

After I did the fairly extensive set of reviews of the Cricut Mini and Craft Room, I was told I could keep the machine.  That was a bit of a surprise, as I had already disconnected it and gone back to using my ancient original Cricut.  It’s pretty much stayed in the box till now.  But I wanted a stencil of a particular shape and I thought I remembered there was something suitable amongst the images so I dragged it out again and plugged it in.

I’m not going to lie – the process is a little fiddly, but as a few visitors commented they quite liked the resulting stencil I though I would take a moment to explain how I made it, what image I used (and what cart contains it) and maybe give others the idea of how they can create their own unique tools.

This is called DOILY 12 from the Cricut Alphabet cart – here you see it in its original form:

doily12

 

I know that text is small but at the bottom you can see the cart from the list and the image (circled in blue) and I’ll explain the red items as I go.

First, open your new file and add the original image – the big blue scalloped circle.

Click the double circles in the red box top left.  This is what locks the aspect ratio of the image so it doesn’t go oval as you try to scale it up or down.  That looks like this close up:

lock

 

Increase the size to as big as you want. Click on the box that says HIDE CONTOUR (in the red circle)

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That shows you the outline of the image.  Anything you click on will be hidden and will NOT cut. In this case I simply hid the scalloped circle . It grey’s out so you know it’s hidden.

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The darker lines are the cut lines and the greyed out lines will disappear when you Exit.

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One complaint I have about Craft Room is the couple of useful commands that don’t appear.  Maybe it’s there and I just don’t have it triggered in some TOOL menu or another, but it would be REALLY helpful to have a SCALE option, so you can scale things by a percent.  Instead I copy the cut-selection and duplicate it then scale it so the circles nest, by eye by dragging in the corner.  The + in the red circle denotes the exact centre of the image.  This is critical to line things up absolutely and keep your circle from looking wonky – although that might be the look you want and if so, just line it up off center how you want. This is where I would LOVE to have an ALIGN option to centre each circle at the absolute middle with a click.  Since I can’t do that, I instead make use of the grid of the mat.  I simply line up that + at a grid-intersection.  If you have it lined up exactly, the + will totally disappear, as the lines are thinner that the bold grid lines.  Can you get that from this shot?

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If you cut if from fairly heavy cardstock, as I did, you should be able to easily use it as a stencil, either for spray inks or modelling paste.  As it isn’t washable, with paste I just scrape it really well – so long a there is not clots of paste that harden on it, you should be able to use it again and again.  And if it does get ruined, just make sure you save the project in Craft Room and you can quickly cut another at a later date.

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Obviously you could easily group your selection and scale it back then scatter smaller circles across the entire sheet:

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And if you group the series of circles then SKEW the shape, using the corner than does that (top right maybe?) you can get a more oval shape, like so:

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And again, easy to repeat that and scatter the ovals across the page. The point is you can easily design unique-to-you tools for use in your mixed media projects.  It’s just a matter of looking at the images you have available to you and considering how you can adjust them to suit your purposes.  There are SO MANY images available via Craft Room and the ways you can alter them are endless.

I’m ALL about getting the most from stuff you already own AND about making things for MY work that is unique to me.  I do get that not everybody is willing to take the time to do this, but if it interests you, give it a go.  A side benefit might be that if the stencils you cut have a limited life you won’t be lazy (like me sometimes) or fall into a rut of using the SAME “favourite” images over and over again.  When one of my hand-cut stencils falls apart, there is at least the CHANCE I’ll create a totally new one rather than just cut the same one again LOL! Keeping it fresh…