Pocket Scrapping and how I Challenged Myself to Complete One Month in a Day.

When it comes to pocket scrapbooking. I’m an embellisher. I can spend more time looking for that perfect addition to my page than I spend on any other part of the pocket scrapbooking process. It’s probably partially due to this reason that I’m not anywhere close to caught up. I began pocket scrapping in 2012. I am now the proud owner of partially unfinished 2012, 2013 and 2014 albums. And that’s ok. I don’t mind being “behind” because I’m still working toward documenting those memories and to me that’s the important part.

But then something happens and I ask myself…can I do an entire months worth of pocket scrapping in 24 hours? And so I gave it a go. I should go on to explain this was a normal everyday day. My husband went to work, I homeschooled (DD is a teenager so I realize that makes it easier), did some household chores (maybe a little less than normal), and prepared meals. I took phone calls, checked emails, and got lost on facebook more than once.

But I also focused on completing this project.

may 2014 blog header

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2014 has been looming large. For some reason I’ve been scared to tackle it. It was a busy month, with lots of stuff going on but I didn’t have good notes. I decided that this was the month to take on. So finally I loaded up facebook, looked at my status reports from that month and cut and paste the ones that I want to document into a text file. I then quickly went through my photos for the month, jotting down notes on which ones I would use and just trying to get an idea of the types of product I would need.

Then I decided on the product. I went with a selection of items from the January Special Edition releases. The bright colors were perfect for this spring month and I knew there would be more than enough coordinating products to complete an entire month’s pages. I also decided that I wouldn’t embellish my pages with anything other than what I could print from the Special Edition products and a simple office date stamp. My next decision was that I was going to use just the Project Life Design A page protectors. I love variety and typically use different configurations, but this is my favorite and I knew it would take the guess work out of figuring out what journal cards to use where. Since I normally I create one page at a
time looking at an entire month (6 pages in this case) was a bit daunting so I decided to work on it in batches.

At 11:00 am or so my (imaginary) timer begins. My first step was to go through my notes and photos and plan out where I wanted each story and picture to be. This gave me an idea of what I was working with topic wise before I started printing out my journal cards and embellishments. I used 4×6 index cards and crudely sketched out a diagram for each page. I loved using index cards for this purpose because I could use the blank space below my sketch for notes as I worked on each page.

index cards

Now that I had an idea of what photos would go in which size spots I began editing and printing my photos. There were a lot of photos and I had to break this step up into a couple of sessions. This break was a perfect time to have lunch, get some laundry going and start my daughter on her afternoon assignments.

Next I began printing the cards for my pockets. I had a pretty good idea of how many I would need for each size so I kept tally marks as I went, to keep from printing more than I needed. Then I used my Silhouette to print and cut embellishments that I thought I might use. I printed off two pages worth of embellishments knowing that I probably wouldn’t use all of them but also knowing that I could set the unused pieces aside for another page down the line.

By this point my husband was home from work and wanted me to watch some TV with him. Instead of forgoing spending this time with him I set up the TV tray in the living room and set about cutting out all of my photos and journal cards. I typically like doing something while watching TV anyway so this worked out great. It took me about three epsisodes of the sitcom we were watching to get everything cut out and then it was time to prepare dinner.

tv tray

After dinner I sorted through all of the photos and journal cards and placed the ones I thought I wanted to use together with each page’s index card. I continued working on this project while we watched a few more episodes and I was able to get the photos and embellishments adhered to the journal cards before my husband and daughter went to bed.

I typically stay up for a few hours after they go to bed so this was the perfect time for me to tackle the journaling. I was surprised that it only took me an little over an hour to get most of the journaling knocked out. For my last step of the evening I went through all of the cards I’d put together and made a list of any titles I wanted to print and cut out of the alphabets I’d chosen to use. I grabbed up the stack of cards so that I could make sure I’d get the sizing right and print and cut the titles. At this point I was done and decided to call it a night.

titles

Come morning, the only things I had left to do was adhere my titles, journal on a few of the cards that I was waiting on the titles for and print a photo that somehow I’d missed when I did my initial editing session. I was feeling good. Surely I could get this done by 11 am. Of course, life happens. I’d promised my daughter the day before that I’d make her something for breakfast that was not cereal, homeschool math was a little harder this morning, and I spent 20 minutes searching for my 2 way glue pen that I’d misplaced. Still I was able to get through this and slide my last card into the last pocket at about 12:30. Could I do it in 24 hours? No, but I could do it in 25.5 hours and to me that was just as good.

Here is a look at the pages that I created.

Page 1

May 2014 Page 1
Page 2

May 2014 Page 2

Using collages is a quick and easy way to get more photos into a small space.

May 2014 Page 2 close

Page 3

May 2014 Page 3

I decided not to add much embellishment wise to the 3″x4″ photos on this page. I’d already talked about going to the zoo on this page and so I let the photos speak for themsleves.

May 2014 Page 3 close

Page 4

May 2014 Page 4

I created cards from some of the solid papers by placing paint and stamps on them. These are perfect for matting these photos that aren’t quite 3″x4″.

May 2014 Page 4 close

Page 5

May 2014 Page 5

I love using patterned papers for backgrounds as well. I desperately wanted to use the You are so Darling journal card with this photo, but I couldn’t make the photo size work with the card the way it originally was. Rather than taking the time to reprint the photo at a smaller size, I cut up the journal card, placed it on patterned paper and used it as a journal spot.

May 2014 Page 5 close

Page 6

May 2014 Page 6

One of my favorite things to use as journal cards is notebook paper. I used Danielle Engebretson’s Graph and Crafts papers for all four 4″x6″ pockets on this final page.

May 2014 Page 6 close

While I don’t think I’ll embrace this as a new way to tackle my pocket scrapping backlog, it was nice finding that I could accomplish all this in a little over a day’s time. I know for my next project I’ll be back to digging through my paper clips and wood veneer looking for that perfect piece to embellish my page, but for me this was an awesome challenge, and in the end I love the pages that I created.

 

sarah 150x150Sarah is a member of the Hybrid Creative Team at The Digital Press. She is a homeschool mom currently living in rural Missouri. Her passions are tabletop gaming and, of course, hybrid scrapbooking.

3 ways to capture life’s details like a pro

3 ways to capture life's details like a pro

As a wedding photographer, you quickly learn the value and meaning that small details can have. Weddings are full of details that a couple and their families put a lot of themselves into: items that represent their love for each other and the way they live their lives. Capturing those items – from the invitations, to the flowers, to the rings – is an essential part of capturing what it feels like to be there on the day. In other words, some of those details are an intrinsic part of the memories that are created, and the memories that I as the photographer hope will be evoked one day when people look at the photos.

Some of my favourite detail photos, in addition to being part of the day, have a story to tell all on their own, like the bride who spent hours knitting her own flowers with her friends, or the groom who was so inspired by Boardwalk Empire that his shoes got almost as much attention on the day as his bride’s!

3 ways to capture life's details like a pro

Obviously, a wedding is a planned event, and a significant one. In our everyday lives, we’re less likely to encounter cute calligraphy and artfully arranged roses. But that’s not to say that there aren’t beautiful details to be captured that can enhance your storytelling and add another layer to what you scrapbook. Here are my top three tips on how to take some inspiration from the pro photographers and capture the details to enrich your memory-keeping, along with some favorite photo examples of how I’ve applied my wedding shooting style to my personal photos:

  1. Don’t go straight to the portrait
    It’s easy enough to do, especially when we’re standing behind the camera looking at friends and family. Part of us can’t help but want to see smiling faces: we want the ‘cheese!’ moment. But before you ask your kids or BFFs to pose nicely and grin for the camera, think about how you could capture a thing in the photo, not just the people.A classic example is a kid who’s drawing you the most gorgeous (obviously) picture. It might be tempting to ask them to hold it up and smile, but first try to take a moment and document their grip on the pen, the way they stick their tongue out when they concentrate, or the picture from above as they are drawing it.3 ways to capture life's details like a pro
  2. Fill the frame
    To really place the focus on the detail, set up your shot so that you get a whole photo of one thing. Play around with your aperture or try out macro mode to experiment with depth and field too, so that your image has one area of focus that really stands out against your background. Don’t be afraid to style a little – often a small collection of things is incredibly visually effective.3 ways to capture life's details like a pro
  3. Capture the ‘where’
    I think most of us are pretty good at capturing and documenting who was there and what we did. Detail photos can enrich this story by showing you more about where you were. Capture what the light was like, the way you’d like to remember the colors, or any little features about the background or surroundings (think texture, style, design). Some great ideas include:

    • trees or flowers
    • the texture of a wall or door
    • a design feature of the building or room you were in
    • a non-traditional ‘scenic’ view (such as a normal street) that captures the feel of the city or town.

    3 ways to capture life's details like a pro

Struggling to imagine how this translates to your scrapbook pages? Here’s a recent layout example I prepared to illustrate how I use detail shots alongside more traditional portraits on a page. This type of photo also lends itself perfectly to pocket-style scrapbooking and 365/52 projects, because you may already be capturing little details like meals, new purchases, or favorite things.

Layout: Into The Woods by Kathryn Wilson
Using Woodland Winter Collection by Studio Flergs available 01/16 at The Digital Press

3 ways to capture life's details like a pro

 

So there you have it! For this January, we’re setting ourselves challenges that are all about focus over in the forum. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to focus on the details in your photos and memory-keeping, so we hope you’ll join in on our details challenge, which starts January 16.

 

KathrynAbout the author: Kathryn Wilson shares her 1920s New Zealand home with her husband, a wauzer, and a cavoodle. She is a photographer, and both a digital and hybrid pocket scrapbooker, who has lots of DIY projects she should probably be working on right now.

Grab that DSLR out of the closet and focus on your subject

Focus on your subject

The holidays are over, our schedules are a little less strenuous, and for many of us, it’s cold outside. It’s also a new year with new goals and new projects. That means it’s time to drag out that DSLR and work on our photography skills. Yep, even professionals strive to learn new things and brush up on basic skills, or even push new limits to our creativity. The subject of focus could take up the whole month of tutorials and challenges, but I’m going to keep it simple and add some links for more in-depth study.

Nail your focus

One of the first rules of photography is that the subject should be sharp. Most modern digital cameras offer a number of ways of achieving sharp images. Portrait photography often means using a wide aperture and longer focal lengths to create a shallow depth of field, throwing the background out of focus. This makes focusing more challenging than usual, as sharpness is captured across a very narrow plane, often of just an inch or two. Some basic tips include using a narrow aperture, using a faster shutter speed, and image stabilization with a tripod and a timer or shutter release to avoid camera shake.

Tips for Sharp photos

Getting Sharper images

Some more advanced tips are below:

  1. Focal points

Some photographers like to focus using the center focus point and then recompose, while others will set an off-center focus point. The important part is to choose just one focal point at a time. Most DSLRs are set to use all focal points at once and choose what to focus on. The camera is likely going to choose to focus on an area of highest contrast. Setting the AF point yourself gives you the maximum level of control over where your camera focuses, and it’s a good option for landscape, still life and portrait photography when you don’t have moving subjects. This way, you’ll prevent your camera from hunting around for what to focus on, or focusing where you don’t want it to.

For more information about focal points, check out these links:

Getting to know your camera’s focal points

Know your focusing system

  1. Where to focus

The eyes are the most vital element of a portrait, so it’s essential to record them sharply, particularly if you’re using a wide aperture. As I mentioned earlier, cameras like to focus on areas of high contrast. The best place to point your camera is at the edge between the iris and sclera of the subject’s eye. This is the area of highest contrast. Aiming at the corner of the eye is also used.

  1. Back button focus

Most DSLRs are set up so that half-pressing the shutter triggers the autofocus. Why entrust both focusing and shutter release to the same button, when a button for each can potentially give you greater control?  Many photographers prefer a custom function that triggers autofocus with a rear button positioned where your thumb usually rests  (see your camera manual to see how to set it up). It takes a little time to get used to it, but can give you greater control when focusing and composing your shot.

In addition to your camera’s manual, here are some links for more information about BBF:

Back button focusing

Focus accurately

Here is my example for a photo in which I nailed the focus on the eyes.  My daughter loves to take baths and play in the bubbles with her rubber ducky.

Grab that DSLR out of the closet and focus

 


Selective focus

One of the first steps toward taking more creative photos is learning how to control how much of your picture is in focus.

  1. What is Selective Focus?

Selective focus is when you focus on the specific part of a subject you want to highlight or emphasize, and let the rest fall into the blur of the background (or the foreground — you can be as creative as you like with selective focus). Selective focus is often used to draw attention to a subject or part of a subject to make it stand out in a busy settion. Other times, it’s used to evoke an emotion when viewing the subject in context of its blurred but recognizable surroundings.

  1. Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used a lot by photographers, but what the heck is it? In photography, bokeh is “the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens” or to put it bluntly, it’s the blur of the background

  1. Achieving selective focus

Larger apertures, f-stops like f/1.2 – f/2.8, let in more light, while smaller apertures like f/16 – f/22 let in less light.

The choice of aperture has much more impact on the look and feel of an image than brightness alone. Although small apertures let in less light, they offer a wider depth of field. Landscape and macro photographers routinely use small apertures to get more of the picture to appear as sharp, where as, portrait photographers tend to shoot at much wider apertures. Large apertures produce a narrower depth of field, producing a sharp subject between a blurred foreground and background. The closer you are to the foreground, and the more distance there is between the subject and the background, the more pronounced the effect.

In selective focus photography, the parts in focus and out of focus are equally important, but nothing about the technique is particularly difficult.

Here are some tips to remember:

  • Use a Large Aperture- Depending on your lens, your largest aperture may be 2.8 or even 3.5.
  • Choose a Longer Focal Length – If your lens won’t open wider than 3.5, use your longest lens or a zoom lens extended to the far end of its range. Longer focal lengths create a compression effect that throws the background out of focus.
  • Identify Useful Out of Focus Areas – The out of focus areas of your photo should be recognizable, not just blurry blobs in the frame, so think about your goal.
  • Pay attention to the Angle – The goal is to use an angle that causes the surrounding defocused elements to be farther away from the main subject, especially when you are limited by space.
  • Keep Composition in Mind – Put the subject in such a place that allows the viewer’s eye to wander off and still be able to enjoy the rest of the image.

Find more information and helpful tools about Depth of Field here:

F-stop chart

Selective focus

DOF master

DOF calculator

DOF tutorial

Here is my example photo where the rubber ducky is in focus, but my daughter is not.  Notice that you can still identify her in the background, but the focus is on her playing with the rubber ducky.

Grab that DSLR out of the closet and focus


January 14 challenge

The challenge is to make a LO that highlights a photo (making the photo take up 50% or more of the page) with either SHARP focus or selective focus/great bokeh. To complete this challenge, please complete a page and post it in a reply to this post.

Now, for the rules…

  1. Pages must be created using 100% TDP Products and loaded in the gallery no later than midnight EST on January 31, 2015.
  2. Please link your gallery listing in this thread: The Drawing Board: Challenges– JAN 14
  3. Link your comment in this thread in the monthly challenge tracker thread. You can find it here: January’s Tracking Thread
  4. Have fun!!!

splash-time


 

FarrahAbout the Author:  Farrah Jobling is a member of the Creative Team here at The Digital Press.  She lives in Denver with her amazing family, Mike, Nicholas (8), Claire (5) and Hope (7 mo puppy).  She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.

Getting started with Digital Pocket Scrapbooking

Pocket scrapbooking is hugely popular at the moment, and especially at this time of the year when we’re all excited about recording our year. We’ve all seen beautiful page protectors filled with gorgeous physical and hybrid goodies, but for some of us the thought of getting all covered in glue and glitter or having to spread out all over the kitchen table (and clear it up for every meal!) doesn’t appeal.

Digital pocket pages are a great option and have some advantages over the physical version. For me, the best thing about digital pocket scrapbooking is the space that I’ll save. I print my pages in a photobook at the end of the year, so rather than a large album or two, I have a slim volume which sits nicely on my shelf. Of course, if you prefer to print throughout the year and put the pages in page protectors you can absolutely do that too. I don’t need to print my photos in advance so much, simply drag my photos into Photoshop Elements (or the image editor of your choice…) and get started. And of course I don’t glue my fingers together.

The easiest way to start is with a pocket scrapbooking template. I’m using the Project Twenty-Fifteen templates by Laura Passage.

When the PSD file is opened in Photoshop Elements it looks something like this (I’m using PSE 9) but it shouldn’t be different in other versions.

1

Each rectangle is a shape on its own layer. I’m going to be replacing them with my photos and cards from Krafty Basics by Mari Koegelenberg. I’m also using a card from 2015 Calendar Journal cards by Scotty Girl.

Let’s start with a card. When I open the card file, it appears in the project bin at the bottom of the screen. Click on the rectangle that you want to use so that we’re working on the right layer, then drag the card onto the template. The card will be on the layer above the rectangle. Move the card to where it needs to be, then click ctrl-G (cmd-G on Mac). This applies a clipping mask so that the card is now the exact shape of the rectangle below. You can see where you have a clipping mask applied as the layer appears indented in the layers list on the right.

2

I do exactly the same thing with my photos and any other cards or papers I want to use. The size of the photo layer can be changed by dragging one of the corners until it’s the size you want. It’s best not to increase the size though, as that affects the print quality.

We are scrapbooking here, so I’ll need to add some journalling. I use the text tool to draw out a rectangle to type into, either on a card or right on top of a photo.

3

I could be done at that point, but sometimes it’s nice to add a few embellishments. I’ve just used a couple of tiny flowers from Mari’s collection. Laura’s template comes with shadows included, but if I add extras, I’ll need to add them. Right click on one of the shadowed cards in the layers panel (the layer name has ‘fx’ next to it), click ‘Copy layer style’. Now select the element you want to shadow and right click on it in the layers panel. Click ‘Paste layer style’.

4

One last tip that I’ve found really useful. I really like to journal directly on top of my photographs so I can get more pictures and more words in. Sometimes though, it can be hard to read so I add either a strip of paper, or just a rectangle of white underneath the text and adjust the opacity of the layer (at the top of the layers panel) so it doesn’t completely obscure the photo beneath.

5

And that’s it, a completed pocket page! Remember you can adjust the page to suit your style. This template comes with stitching to make it closer to the style of the physical products, but you might prefer a cleaner design. I changed it up by removing some of the embellishment, shadowing and using more neutral colours. Which do you prefer?

6

I hope that’s inspired you to give digital pockets a go. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the forums! We also have a pocket scrapbooking section in the gallery where you can head for inspiration.


JudeAbout the Author: Jude Toone is part of the Creative Team at The Digital Press. She lives in the UK with her husband and two fantastic girls. She’s loves travelling and would be off in her campervan every weekend if she could get away with it and loves time spent exploring new places and trying new experiences – and photographing them! She also spends too much time on the computer and doesn’t go running as often as she says she’s going to.

Focus on the Story

Let’s face it… grabbing one awesome photo and the new, latest fun kit is the easiest way to get your scrap fix. I’ve done it and I’m sure you have as well. This year I am striving to change that. I want to delve deeper. Find more stories. I want to focus on finding stories in my photos. I want you to focus on this as well and be on the lookout for those photos that can lead you to tell a deeper story.

Yesterday, I was outside with my son and I remembered how as a toddler he would love to run free and I would take a photo of him running free. Well, I asked him to run free for me yesterday with every intention of telling this story. I went looking in my hard drive for running free photos and started with the one of him a toddler. To see the changes in 4 years is incredible and also made me a little teary. I almost have a 6 year old boy! And this is what I want you to get from focusing on stories- the emotional aspects.

Here is the layout using a new release coming this Friday from Anita Designs. The kit is called Timeless.

Time-Goes-Fast-SP

Another story finding approach I tend to use is compiling photos from a couple of months to tell a story. Like this two pager with photos of my kiddos and I between January and March of last year. I went through my monthly photos and picked out my favorite photos and created a wonderful story. Telling your story as a Mom AND getting in the photos with your child(ren) is something I consider priceless.

0-2014-AAU-Kiddos-Mom

Telling stories gives photos a deeper meaning then being just a photo. It can capture the blessings of the ordinary everyday life, the silliness of your child over the months, the fun hobbies you enjoy and an overall appreciation for the vast quantity of photos we all take.

0-2014-TWD--Everyday-Dinner

0-2014-AAU--Me-Books-Oct

Brother-Sister-Love-L

This year I want you to join me in Focusing on finding more stories to tell, journaling the story and printing the story. Be mindful of story opportunities in your life. And be sure to check out the Focus on the Story challenge.


SabrinaAbout the Author:  Sabrina Poole lives in a quaint house with her two lively children she calls Captain and Sunshine. When she’s not cleaning up their messes she can be found lost in a good book or creating another scrapbook page.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

Happy Saturday!  A huge hello to you!  Today marks the very first Hybrid post here on The Digital Press blog!  I am going to show you how to use those digital designs with your Silhouette Cameo to create a one of a kind home decor item perfect for gift giving to newlyweds or for keeping for yourself!

And…. I’m hosting a giveaway where one lucky reader will win this beautiful set of pillow cases simply by commenting on this post!  You can receive additional entries by sharing this post.  To get additional entries, comment again telling me where you shared this post!

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

I have had this project on my “to do” list for months and, after seeing Kim Broedelet’s Forever: I DO word art in the shop, I knew it was PERFECT for what I had in mind.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

The word art is part of her Forever: I DO: Collection.

Here is what you are going to need to create your own pillow cases:

  • Pillow cases, pre-washed without laundry soap or fabric softener
  • Siser Easy Weed heat transfer vinyl
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Silhouette Studio program
  • Bride and Groom stick figures from the Silhouette design store
  • heat press (or iron)

I just recently ventured into the heat transfer vinyl (HTV) world with my Silhouette.  It has been a learning process with lots of mistakes along the way!  Hopefully, I can help you avoid some of the same mistakes I’ve made!

First, make sure that any tshirt, sweatshirt, hoodie, pillowcase, etc. that you are working on is pre-washed.  This helps pre-shrink the item so that all your hard work (shhh… it’s not really HARD work) isn’t ruined with the first wash.

Also, I do not use any laundry soap or fabric softener when pre-washing items.  Fabric softener can cause the heat transfer vinyl not to adhere to your item.

After washing my pillow cases, I used my heat press to “iron” them so that they were wrinkle free.  I then measured my pillow cases so that I knew how large my design needed to be.  I decided that my designs needed to be around 9 inches tall.

In my Silhouette Studio program, I opened and resized the bride and groom stick figures.  Next, I needed to trace the word art that I chose for my pillow cases.  Unfortunately, the Cameo cannot “read” a png file and “cut” it.  You have to trace it.

Tracing things definitely takes practice, but since I am cutting images in vinyl, it’s forgiving if it’s not perfect.  YouTube has many videos on how to trace.

To trace Kim’s word art, I opened the two files that I chose – the “From this day forward” and “The Best is yet to come” png files.

Open the trace window – it’s the little icon in the top right corner of your program that looks like a little blue slice of bread. LOL

Click on the Select Trace Area button.  Click and drag a box over the image that you want to trace.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

For this particular image, I found that by unchecking the High Pass Filter, decreasing the scale to 1, and increasing the threshold to 100% gave me the best trace.  By “best trace”, I mean that it gives me the most detail and the sharpest edges on the small areas of the design – like the word “the”.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

The change of color to yellow is how the program “knows” what to trace.  Any areas left the original color won’t cut correctly.

Once I was happy with the trace, I hit the Trace button in the program.  By using this option, the program traces (puts red lines) around all the parts of the letters including the inside of the letters.  At this point, you can either move the original png file off the mat or delete it.  This leaves the red tracing lines that the program will use to cut the heat transfer vinyl.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

Copy and paste the word art onto the same mat as the bride and groom stick figures.  Resize the word art to your liking.

NOTE: At this point you can position and space the word art where you’d like it to be next to the stick figure which will leave you with pieces of wasted, possibly unusable pieces of HTV or you can position both images very close together so that they are cut with the least amount of wasted vinyl possible.

Once you are happy with the layout of your design, group all the different files together by clicking on one and then while holding down the shift button of your keyboard, click on the rest of the files.  Click on the “Group Selected Shapes” button in the lower left corner of the program.

Next, you will need to mirror the image.  This cuts the vinyl so that correct side of the vinyl adheres to the pillowcases.

TIP:  Much to my dismay, I’ve wasted several pieces of HTV because I did not remember to mirror my image before sending it to the Cameo for cutting.  I now have a post-it note taped to my cameo that says “Mirror the image for HTV!!”  Another tip I saw online somewhere is to use a sharpie to write “Mirror image for HTV” on the edge of the cutting mat.

Apply the HTV to your cutting mat SHINY side down.  The shiny side is very obvious.  The shiny clear piece is the transfer sheet for applying the HTV to your fabric.  Load your mat into your silhouette and send your design to be cut.

Weed your design.  This is the term used to describe the peeling of the excess pieces of the vinyl that are not part of your design.  This includes the insides of letters like a, e, o, etc.  Your design will be backwards on the clear transfer sheet.  Now we are ready to apply the HTV to the pillow cases.

Pre-heat your heating press or iron.  If using a heating press, follow the temperature recommendations for the brand/type of HTV you are using.  For my heat press, I use the setting of 305 degrees F.  My heat press has a digital display.  If using an iron, I use the hottest setting on the iron and lots of pressure when adhering the HTV.

You will need to “warm” the area where you are applying the vinyl.  This helps draw out any moisture that may be in the fabric as well as helps improve the transfer process.

Position the HTV on the pillow case and cover with the teflon sheet or a piece of lightweight, cotton fabric to protect the HTV.

Using the heat press, I did a press of 10 seconds using medium pressure, allowed the design to cool a bit before performing another press of 10 seconds.

TIP:  I recommend doing some trial ironing when using HTV and an iron.  Cut some small pieces of HTV and play around with the settings on the iron, the pressure, and the amount of time it takes for the HTV to adhere to your fabric.  I used one of my husband’s old white undershirt to practice with both the iron and the heating press.

Siser Easy Weed vinyl is designed so that you can remove the clear transfer sheet while the vinyl is hot or cold. I like to start to slowly remove the transfer sheet while it’s still warm.  While doing this, I check to make sure the vinyl is adhered to the fabric.  If it’s not, I replace the transfer sheet and press again (not usually necessary if using a heat press).

After removing the clear transfer sheet, I once again cover the pillow case with the teflon sheet (or lightweight piece of fabric) to protect the vinyl and press it again for another 10 second cycle.

I then let the fabric cool and turn the tshirt/sweatshirt/pillow case inside out and press again on the reverse side of the design.  This pulls the HTV further into the fibers of the fabric for an even better transfer.

Here are the pillow cases side by side.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

and again, the finished pillow cases on the pillows.

Digital design + Silhouette Cameo = True Love (and a Giveaway!!!)

I hope you enjoyed my project!  If you have any questions about my project, please don’t hesitate to ask!!!

And remember, if you’d like to be entered into the giveaway, comment on this post!  And don’t forget that you can receive additional entries by sharing this post.  To get credit for additional entries, comment again telling me where you shared this post!

I will stop taking entries on Friday, 1/16/2015 at 11:59pm EST.  I will announce the winner here on the blog on 1/17/2015.  Good Luck!!!


 

LuAnn   About the Author: LuAnn Spang is a member of the Hybrid Team at The Digital Press. She lives just outside of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, 2 adult sons and a teenage daughter.  She manages to find time be creative as a way of relieving stress while working full time as a LPN in an assisted living facility and attending RN school part time.