Word Art

Pictures made up of words are all the rage now and I’m a huge fan.  I hope one day to be able to produce such things with my own calligraphy but for now, I’m happy to use my Cricut to create these works (or words!) of art.  I posted my latest project in the Cricut Facebook group and had a lot of comments asking how I did it, which prompted this blog post.  Apparently, there is a website or app you can use to arrange your words but personally, I think that takes all the fun and creativity out of the project.

First, I drew in a heart the size of my intended project in Cricut Design Space.  I then listed words that I wanted to include in the piece.  Then it was simply a job of changing the fonts, sizes and alignments and fitting the words into the heart shape.  Where there were gaps too big to leave blank but too small for words, I added little images like hearts, stars, paw prints, cats and aeroplanes.  Once I was happy with the layout, I then changed the words and images into 4 colours as I was using black, gold, silver and brushed metallic pink vinyl.

The key at this stage was to “Attach” the images by colours as this allows the Cricut to cut out that colour with the words in the correct position so you don’t have to be bothered trying to line them up on the canvas.  As is usual for me, I made my life more difficult by making my project lots bigger than my cutting mat so I had to divide my words into two mats for each colour.  After ‘hiding’ or deleting the heart shape (this needs doing to prevent the machine cutting out a vinyl heart too), the next task was to cut out each colour.  I cut out the sections of vinyl without any words to save for small projects.

The next job was to ‘weed’ the project.  I begin by removing the centres of the O, R, Ps etc.

And then removed the rest of the surrounding vinyl.

The vinyl needs mounting on transfer paper in order to remove the backing prior to sticking to the project.  I had some difficulty in doing this from above by placing the transfer paper onto the vinyl, so I placed transfer paper face down on my light pad and then positioned the vinyl into the correct spaces, using the Design Space for reference.

Once all the pieces were in place, I roughly cut the transfer paper into a heart shape to help with centralising on the canvas.

The transfer backing paper was in two halves which helped a lot for the final sticking into position.  I lined up the image, then held the top section onto the canvas whilst I peeled off the backing paper of the bottom section, sticking the bottom onto the canvas.  With the bottom secured, I then removed the top section of backing paper.

Despite burnishing the images really well, the vinyl preferred to stick to the transfer sheet rather than the canvas so a bit of work was required to encourage the letters off the transfer sheet.  Once they were all on the canvas, I burnished them well again to ensure they were properly adhered.  The only job left was to hang it on the wall.

I then made a similar canvas for my friend’s big birthday.  He is retired now but worked in the aviation industry so I used an aircraft silhouette as my shape to fill.  This was trickier as the font was smaller but each colour did fit on a single cutting mat so lining up was easier.

Things I learnt from these projects:

  • Don’t use fonts with really long, skinny parts to the letters.
  • Do a test cut of a small shape if using new vinyl; they don’t all cut the same.
  • Try out the transfer sheet on the project first. Mine was a bit too sticky and the vinyl stuck better to that than to the canvas.
  • The smaller the font, the trickier it is to weed and transfer.
  • Use “Unlock” to allow words to fill the spaces better otherwise they scale proportionally.

Finally, for a bit of fun, I pimped up our new robovac.  In honour of the Robocop being Jean-Claude Van Damme, we’ve named our robovac Jean.  I designed a logo for her and added a little slogan! Aside from the fun decals, the little vac is brilliant – in fact, Jean’s busy doing the vacuuming whilst I’m writing this post. Now that’s my idea of housework! 😊

 

 

Brightly Gleaming

A couple of quick cards this week made using Stampin’ Up! Brightly Gleaming set.  I wanted to create some clean and simple style cards predominantly using white and metallics.

First, I stamped two of the bauble images twice, embossed each pair in gold and silver and cut them out using the matching punches.  For my backgrounds, I wanted some texture so I embossed my card using the long-retired pine bough folder.

Next, I cut some strips of gold and silver glitter card to edge my card fronts and liners and heat embossed the sentiment from the set.

I heat embossed the smaller decoration onto the envelope and the liner and stuck the liner into the card base, adding the glitter strips to the edges.

I repeated the glitter edging on the card front pieces.

The last job was to add foam dimensionals to adhere the baubles and sentiments.

The resulting cards were simple but elegant that I’d be happy to have on my mantlepiece.

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

Splendid Sunflowers

Summer is a great time to be out in the garden: there’s a wealth of colour, flowers, birds and insects to feast your eyes on.  I particularly enjoy growing plants that are beneficial for both me and the wildlife and one of those essentials is sunflowers.  I don’t grow the 10ft monsters for a few reasons; they require too much faffing around with, you only get a solitary flower on them, albeit huge, and our garden is very windy so it would likely get broken.  My favourite sunflower to grow is ‘Vanilla Ice’.  It’s a multi-branched variety, so lots of flowers for the vase and the wildlife, it’s really easy to grow and it flowers for months.

A little bee on my ‘Vanilla Ice’ sunflower

The Painted Harvest stamp set features a great water-coloured sunflower image and is also easy to create stunning cards with.  It’s a multi layered stamp and I usually use a second-generation image for the back layer by stamping off onto scrap paper first but with the yellow ink, it’s not necessary so I just inked up and stamped straight onto the card.

Layer 1 with Crushed Curry

The second layer has more detailed petals.  I don’t think there’s a match to the first layer – not that I’ve found anyway! – so that makes it dead easy to just stamp right over the top of the first.

Crushed Curry layer 2

The sunflower centre is created with a graduated tone from a single stamp.

I wanted the leaves to look like they were peeking out from beneath the flower but the stamp has a section of stalk on it.  There are several ways to overcome this: ink up only the section you want to stamp; make a mask to protect the flower; or cut the stamp (gulp!).  I used a mask made from a post-it note.  (I keep the masks I make with the stamp set for future use.) The leaves are also made up with 2 stamps for a textured look.

A well used post-it note mask!

A Crushed Curry mat and sentiment from the Butterfly Gala complete the single sunflower card.

For this multi sunflower card, I put the sentiment stamp where I was going to stamp it and then stamped my sunflowers around and off the page. Again, I use the mask to protect the flower whilst I stamped the leaves.

I heat embossed the sentiment using gold embossing powder and then mounted on a Sahara Sand card base.

Although not technically sunflowers, the stamp works equally well when used with colours other than yellow.  Here’s a presentation folder I created for my watch’s retirement gift for a work colleague.

If you really want to go off-piste, stamp the image in different greens and use it as a wreath for a Christmas card. I heat embossed some gold dots and added some red rhinestones for some festive bling!

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!