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.

What’s The Focus Of Your Photo?

tlpblogpin

Now that the holidays are over, I am back to taking photos of my everyday life, my family, my dog, my neighborhood and a few selfies here and there. Have you noticed that sometimes the “focus” of an image might be obvious but other times your eye wanders all over the image, not really knowing where to look? You often don’t have time to stage a photo but if you have a few seconds to set it up, some simple tips might help you to better frame your subject and make your “focus” clearer. These tips can be used with a DSLR, point and shoot camera, your I-pad or your camera phone, whatever type of camera you have.

1.  Look at the background, are there any distractions that detract from your main subject? Is there a lot of clutter, especially around your subject? If so, try moving yourself, whether up or down, or to each side, to diminish that clutter out of the camera frame and then take your shot. Sometimes moving yourself and the camera just a few inches makes all the difference in what the camera will capture. Try standing on your tiptoes, get up onto a stool or chair, or get low, squat down, hold your camera lower and point upwards. Changing that perspective can make a world of difference in what image you capture. In these two images, I shot indoors, in cluttered rooms, so I came down to their level and shot across at them, thus eliminating a lot of the clutter of the furniture.

What's The Focus Of Your Photo?
2. If there is something in the foreground that I can use as a “leading line” to help bring focus to my subject, I will use it. A fence, a row of trees or a sidewalk are all great “leading lines”.

What's The Focus Of Your Photo?
3. If there is no getting around the cluttered background, then just try some tight framing, so the background distraction is minimized. Be careful not to come in too close because you might want to crop or print at different ratios so you will want to give yourself a bit of leeway for that. For these two images, I came in close enough that there is no mistaking what my “focus” is but leaves a bit of the background that isn’t distracting enough to worry about.

What's The Focus Of Your Photo?

 

When  your background is not uncluttered, try to remember to take a look at what is around the subject’s head, looking for some clean space. Watch out for anything that might be right behind your subject’s head. I’m sure we’ve all taken those photos where it looks like an antenna is coming out of someone’s head (the tree branch in the background).  The more your eye sees through the viewfinder or LCD and can correct before snapping that pic, the less you need to do in post-processing. Of course, the most important thing is to capture that moment, take the photo, but of second importance is to capture the best photo you can, preserving that memory forever. I hope these tips are helpful. Have fun and enjoy taking photos!

The Digital Press now has monthly challenges for you to participate in! Come on over and play along! Among the challenges this month is one called “What’s The Focus Of Your Photo?” which you will nail if you’ve read this blog article.  So, go have fun! Here’s the link:

What’s The Focus Of Your Photo Challenge at The Digital Press


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rae

Rae Clevett is part of the Creative Team at The Digital Press. She lives on the west coast of BC with her hubby and labradoodle, Taz. As a photographer and avid digital scrapbooker, most days she is either behind the camera or scrapping some of her personal photos. There is usually a cup of coffee on her desk and some chocolate treats, as she is a chocolate addict. Her laptop sits next to her computer so she can watch tv or movies as she scraps or edits photos. Taz usually lies on the floor beside her, playing with his toys. It’s a pretty sweet set-up, comfy and casual.

Focus on Journaling

Welcome to the kick-off of our monthly challenges!  Each month we will create a series of blog posts and challenges that correspond with one word.  This month, we chose FOCUS.  Focus could mean a myriad of things and we cannot wait to have you join us on our journey to discover how we can be focused in our scrapbooking.  You can read more about the thought behind the word here: Find Your Focus This January

For more information on our challenge system, please read more in our forum: Everything You Need to Know about Challenges

Now on to our first challenge…

Not to sound cliché, but some say that a picture says a thousand words. Perhaps. But for many of us, we create scrapbook pages as a form of memory keeping. As our family historians, we have set ourselves up to record the who, what, when, where, why and how of our lives. To pass on our life, in the moment, to our children and grandchildren. I know that I love it when my kids look through an album and not only look at the pretties on the page, but read them as well. Sometimes it sparks a memory which leads to some wonderful conversations. I love those moments!

Early on, right after discovering digital scrapbooking, I made many pages with a picture, paper, and elements and called it a day. Sure, it looked great to me, but looking back on those pages, I wish I would have jotted down, at a minimum, what was occurring in the picture(s).

I created the page below several years ago.  While the word art could speak for itself, I have found that when people look through my album, they tend to ask why my husband and I were so dressed up.  If I had added one simple line of journaling, then this would have been recorded and people would not need to ask.

Now don’t get me wrong, I to this day will scrap a page with no journaling because there are instances where I don’t feel like it is needed. That the picture(s) used do convey what I wanted, or a piece of word art speaks for me. Early on I rarely included journaling or put much thought into it – this is one of my scrapping regrets.

Why didn’t I journal? Good question. I suppose my own insecurities got the best of me as I felt like no one wanted to read what I had to say – I was wrong. Maybe it was because I felt like the picture was enough and looking back I realize that it wasn’t. Perhaps it was because I was not aware that I needed to journal. I do now in most cases.

Journaling does not have to be a long drawn out paragraph of deep, immense feelings and detail. It could simply be a one sentence statement of what is occurring, your thoughts/feelings, or simply who is in the picture. I tend to ask myself will I know the answers to who, what, when, where, why and how of the page looking back at it in 10 years?

Here are a few recent pages of mine where the journaling included the answer to these questions.  Reading the journaling, the viewer should easily be able to see what happened and the memory I wanted to capture.  Pages are linked for credits.

2015-01-01_crafty

Christmas Spectacular

 

Christmas Spectacular

So why this discussion on journaling? I thought it would be great challenge to kick us off on our month of FOCUS. Let’s focus on the journaling. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is located here, on the forums: Focus on Journaling Challenge

We cannot wait to see what you come up with!


About the Author: Rachel Alles is on the Creative Team here at The Digital Press.  She is fortunate to share her life with her loving husband, Doug, and two blessings: Madeline and Maxwell.  The three of them are her main source of inspiration for her pocket and traditional style pages.  When she’s not scrapping, she enjoys anything Disney related, learning more about photography (and attempting to turn the dial off Auto) and dabbling in home decor projects.

Find Your Focus This January

It’s the start of a bright and beautiful new year and we are so VERY excited to be launching our challenges here at The Digital Press! I’m here today to introduce them to you and tell you a little bit about our vision for the year.

Each month always seems to have a flavor all its own. January, for example, is a month that can be full of wishes, hopes and dreams. It’s a time for resolutions and a time to daydream. It’s a time to clear out all the clutter and put those messy holidays behind us. Everything is fresh, new and exciting. It’s a time to focus on the things that we want most from the year that’s so full of potential.

The word “focus” really stood out to me last week as I thought about things in my own life. But I just loved how this word also could apply to my love of photography and scrapbooking!

Focus has so many shades of meaning…

focus

via Pinterest: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

So, in this first month of the new year, we are focusing in at The Digital Press!

We have some amazing and inspirational posts coming your way right here on the blog. We will also have a host of new challenges on the forums to spark your creativity and help you to make pages you really love.

You’ll find all the details of our new challenge system laid out for you here: Everything You Need to Know about Challenges

Our challenges start tomorrow. We hope you’ll join us then!

We hope you’ll have a great time scrapping along with us throughout the year. We’re looking forward to seeing all your beautiful work!


Nicole About the Author: Nicole Seitler is a designer here at The Digital Press, creating kits under the name Sugarplum Paperie. In her free time, she loves to to work on her Project Life album, knit or craft with her kids. But she doesn’t have much free time, since she’s also a stay-at-home homeschoolin’ momma of four. Her life may be a little crazy, but she wouldn’t want it any other way!

December Advent Winners

This month, in recognition of our site’s opening, we combined December Advent with a fun “Get to Know Our Designers” event. Each day, you got a chance to learn about one of the amazing members of our Design Team.

The Digital Press Design Team

After revealing our 16th designer earlier this week, we randomly chose one winner from the comments you left each day (with a little help from random.org)… and we have a list of winners to share with you today! 🙂

DAY 1 | LAURA PASSAGE . . . comment #15 — Jenna
DAY 2 | DAWN BY DESIGN . . . comment #17 — Pamjoy
DAY 3 | KIM BROEDELET . . . comment #33 — skapu
DAY 4 | MARI KOEGELENBERG . . . comment #41 — jazzmom21
DAY 5 | SABRINA’S CREATIONS . . . comment #7 — Dolores
DAY 6 | SCOTTY GIRL DESIGN . . . comment #25 — jennifer
DAY 7 | MOMMYISH . . . comment #34 — wahoolady
DAY 8 | KARLA DUDLEY . . . comment #1 — sue_will
DAY 9 | DIGITAL SCRAPBOOK INGREDIENTS . . . comment #4 — Chloe
DAY 10 | KELLEIGH RATZLAFF . . . comment #11 — minicooper452
DAY 11 | ANITA DESIGNS . . . comment #19 — nkashopping
DAY 12 | AMANDA YI . . . comment #27 — meggersjm
DAY 13 | SUGARPLUM PAPERIE . . . comment #16 — simplyshayla
DAY 14 | MISS TIINA . . . comment #12 — Mary Kate
DAY 15 | CREASHENS . . . comment #6 — AmieN1
DAY 16 | DANIELLE ENGEBRETSON . . . comment #13 — Morwenna

Each of the winners will receive correspondence before the end of the weekend (Sun 12/21) with details about how to collect their prizes.  🙂

December Advent Day Sixteen: Get to Know Danielle Engebretson

Danielle EngebretsonThis month, in recognition of our site’s opening, we’ve combined December Advent with a fun “Get to Know Our Designers” event. Each day, you’ve gotten a chance to learn about one of the amazing members of our Design Team.

It’s the final day of our December Advent Series — Day Sixteen — and today you get an extra special surprise! We’d like to announce our newest resident designer at The Digital Press… Danielle Engebretson! She’s got a playful, vintage-y design style that we know you will come to love, and her products are now available exclusively here at The Digital Press!

 

5 FUN FACTS

  1. I have been a dental hygienist for 14 years and I am currently the lead hygienist in my practice! I work 30 hours a week caring for my patients and I love my “day” job.
  2. My husband, who is my soul’s one true mate, is 17 years my senior. I have 2 beautiful children, 3 lovely stepchildren, and one grandson – and might be the youngest living grandma! Ha!
  3. I was an incredible gymnast from age 4-18 and won many state titles and have a collection of 30-50 medals in storage somewhere, and I have been blessed to have been given a daughter who is 11 and shares the same natural gymnastics ability! I am having so much fun watching her make her dreams come true, praying she has it in her to do college gymnastics! Time will tell. I also was a high school gymnastics coach for 4 years and coached younger ages throughout the years.
  4. My Kolbe index number is 7436: 7-fact finder (I eat up facts, need to research and find the history of most things before I move forward, my Apple devices and google are my best friends eva!), 4-follow through (I have to push myself in the follow through department of life, lists help), 3-quick start (this is the opposite of fact finder, and quick starts don’t need much information to get going on something. Though its funny while I am a total fact finder, I typically can gather my facts quickly and then get started, I keep it balanced), 6-implementer (once I have my facts, I am a pretty solid implementer). Kolbe Index is a measure of one’s internal nature, and I think it is pretty cool that this little indices is spot on to who I am.
  5. I am a total TV, music, and movie addict. Awards season is my favorite time of year! (yep I research all the movies, TV shows and trending music out there, have to have my facts straight). Sunday of award shows is Red Carpet Sunday in our house; it drives my husband batty.

5 FAVORITE THINGS

  1. I love makeup – Urban Decay is my current obsession, and Sephora and Ulta are my best friends!
  2. I can’t live without books; I devour books and lack sleep because of this! Colleen Hoover is my favorite author.
  3. Breaking Bad is my favorite “finished” show on TV. The Walking Dead is my favorite “current” show on TV. My favorite show to binge watch on Netflix is “Orange is the New Black.”
  4. I love chewy Gobstoppers (they are nearly impossible to find).
  5. My favorite quote is, “What a slut time is, she screws everybody.” ~John Green, The Fault in our Stars

MY FAVORITE PRODUCT

Huckleberry Road… this kit brings me so much joy! Autumn, what a great time of year!

Huckleberry Road

 

If you love Danielle’s products and would like a chance to win one free kit from her shop… leave a comment here on this post and let us know what you love, and why you love it! At the very end of our December Advent series later this month, we’ll randomly choose one winner from all comments!