Sunday, June 19, 2016

Machine stitching on a layout - with embroidery floss!

I LOVE the look of hand stitching on layouts, but it takes me FOREVER.  So, I started googling "machine sewing with thick thread."

So, the problem with trying to machine sew with embroidery floss (well, ONE of the problems) is that you can't thread the thick thread through the needle. Let me introduce you to "bobbin work."  In a nutshell, the top thread is normal sewing thread, and the thick thread or floss goes on the bobbin and you work the page upside down. 

Technical information about how to do this can be found here:

I decided to give it a shot, take one for the team, and do a sewing experiment. Very little risk for me as I hardly ever use my 20 year old machine for anything except scrapbooking these days.

I loaded the bobbin as per instructions in the link above. I held the feeding floss in my hands and used my fingers for tension. Once loaded, I popped it into the bobbin case.


And it's definitely true that you need to test the tension. The first one I tried (at "0" and "1") just looked like a piece of string stuck to the page with thread around it. It had to be set quite tight (like "8") before it looked decent. Excuse my scrawl, but the numbers do refer to the tension setting. Your results may vary. I also set the stitches as long as possible to better mimic hand stitching.

The photo above shows the underside of the paper after sewing.  I found that I quite liked the look of it with the high tension. For perspective, I would normally sew on fabric with a "3" or so, but the tension needs to be high so that it pulls the floss into the paper.

Once I knew it worked, I set down to business... making a layout. I used a Scrapbook Generations sketch that had lots of stitching on it. I stitched first, because it has to be done on the back side of the paper. Some planning needs to be done here if you want to try anything fancy.  After I sewed, I pulled the ends through to the back of the layout and taped them down.  And here's the finished look:

The stitching on this layout took about 5 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly!  A couple of closeups:

Next time, I might make the tension a little higher, even, but overall, I think I've got a winner!

Materials: buttons, puffy stickers, wood veneer - Evalicious, patterned paper - basic grey, sketch - Scrapbook Generations

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Magnet fishing

This is a story of how a layout evolved.

I had some photos of my son magnet fishing, but needed good embellishments. Do you know what shape the Silhouette Studio store is missing (as of today, anyways)? Magnets! Luckily the tracing feature came to my aid.

After I had traced out the original shape, I split it into 4 different colours so that it would end up looking nicely 3D.

I also had some great older Little Yellow Bicycle paper that I had been saving up for a good boy page.

But then I needed a plain background behind the photos so they didn't get overwhelmed. I happened to be at a crop with lots of shopping. As luck would have it, the new Carta Bella release had some great light grey gear paper. The perfect shade to match the LYB, plus great texture.

And things just fell into place after that. Some Crimson Thickers, some gears that were crop freebies layered with Spellbinders gear die cuts (dies borrowed from a fellow cropper)... et voila.

Materials: Little Yellow Bicycle - Fern and Forest Boy Collection, Carta Bella - Work Hard Play Hard Working Gears, Thickers - Crimson

Monday, April 18, 2016

Whoosh.... that was time flying!

Aaaaaand, I'm back. :)

I wanted to share a technique I started using last year. I had super great intentions of blogging what I had created with some foil and my laminator, but, well, that didn't happen... until now!

Lots of people have seen or tried the Heidi Swapp Minc tool that allows  you to create stunning foiled embellishments. Or maybe you've done the same thing as me and just bought a cheap laminator and laser printer? Either way, prepare to have your mind blown with print and cut foil like this!

Start off by making a title. You can make it directly in Silhouette Studio (fill with black), or, in my case, I did it in Adobe Illustrator in order to take advantage of the cool glyphs in the fonts. By the way, I used Desire for "Frigiliana", and Karmela for "market."

Once you are happy with your words, click to show the registration marks, and make sure that none of your titles are covered by those marks or in the non-printing/cutting area.

Now, add the offset. This is necessary for these titles because the font lines are so delicate. Change the line colour for the offset. I made mine orange. You'll see why in a moment.

Now, here comes the trick to the success of this process. You want to cut the outline of the offset, but NOT the words. To do this, you need to go into the ADVANCED cut settings. For my titles, the cut line of the words was black and the cut line of the offset was orange. So I unselected the black line so that it wouldn't cut.

Now, you're ready for action!  Go ahead and print to your laser printer. If you can darken the black or make sure you're not going light on the toner in your settings, do it. It'll make the foiling better.

And once it's printed, go ahead and cut it on the Silhouette.  Once the pieces are cut, go ahead and foil it!

And here are those titles in action, both using the Heidi Swapp Mint Green foil.

I will have to toot my own horn a bit and say that those titles look better in person than photographed. The pictures don't do the pretty shininess justice.

Thanks for looking!

Frigiliana uses mainly Fancy Pants Office Suite, Evalicious paper clip, some Heidi Swapp paper
The Market in Malaga uses mainly Pink Paislee Atlas
Credit to Scrapbook Generations for their sketches