Friday, April 13, 2018

Letter Shadow Boxes

I've been a long time absent - but all for a good reason. :-)  I recently returned from a 6-week vacation. The first 3 weeks I got to baby-sit my 5-year-old and 2-month-old granddaughters, and the next 3 weeks I spent camping, hiking and soaking up sun with my husband near Tucson, Arizona. It's good to be home, but I've realized how much I need to do to catch up on things!!

 Of course I HAVE to share a picture of my beautiful girls before focusing on anything else!

I wanted to take something along for each of them, but Addi has too many toys and Jemma has no need of them yet, so I decided to create something for their rooms. Here's the result, cut with my Silhouette Cameo from patterns purchased from We hung them both up at a little "Welcome Baby Jemma" brunch my daughter held. She also helped me de-stash a bunch of extra cards I had by giving them as door prizes to the guests that brought diapers!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Experimenting with my Scan n Cut

One of my FSJ Coach friends posted on Facebook that she was having some trouble cutting this cute little stamp - Age is Irrelephant (AT-0212) - with her Scan n Cut. Instead of just cutting around the elephant, it was also cutting out the ear and the eye. So I decided to try experimenting a little with the settings.

I used my 2017 birthday stamp, because it has LOTS of open areas that might lend themselves to a bad cut. My first scan was terrible - so I tried again and had better results. I have no idea what the difference was! But I discovered that I was able to get just an outline when scanning in black and white (the center setting) OR in color mode if I stayed at 5 or more colors. Taking the colors down to 2 gave me the ability to scan the inside lines as well. Here are my results, if anyone's interested!!

Direct Cut, set to B&W using the wrench and screwdriver button
Looks OK - B&W setting right in the middle
Yep - it's cutting just the outside edge. I could add an offset if I wanted more white area around the image.

Next I changed to color mode, again using Direct Cut and the little Tools button.
Seems like it might be working with the 5-color setting.
When enlarged, I can see it will cut just the outline. Great!
Just for fun, I tried decreasing to the 2-color option.
Well....somehow I don't think this would be the best cut!!
I'm not sure how this will relate to our cute little elephant, but hopefully it will help me remember to try different scan settings to find the best scan for the results I want at least.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pencil-outline Cutting with Scan n Cut

Some images and especially sentiments can be challenging for the SnC. This particular stamp set has a lot of feathery little areas and broken lines. Here's one way to cut images like this.


1. Draw around the image with a pencil:
2. Scan to Direct Cut, using the Black/White setting. Frame the scanned image with the arrows.
3. Click on the double circle tool (offset??). Adjust the border to a negative number. I used -0.02 and -0.03. By using a negative border, the image should cut INSIDE the pencil line so you don't have to erase it.
4. Cut the image - erase any stray pencil lines that are left. Here are the results from the three images I tried. With a -0.03 border, the pencil line is removed when the image is cut.

Other methods involve tracing the outline on an acetate sheet, but this pencil-outline method is quick and easy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Valentines and Mermaids

Wow! It's been a REALLY long time since I've updated this page. I guess it's about time.

My January class is this Saturday. I was so excited to order the new FSJ Magical Unicorn set immediately when the Bloom This Way mini came out on January 1st! My granddaughter loves unicorns, so this set will get plenty of use, and I had lots of great ideas for a card to make for January's class. Then it was BACK-ORDERED!!! :-(   I figured I'd better come up with an alternative (good thing I did!) in case it didn't come in time.  So....unicorns are magic and so are mermaids! I used a previous Bloom Box set, Mermaid Kisses. It's still available, but only while supplies last. (I'm thinking about bringing the unicorn along Saturday - so folks can choose whether they want a mermaid or a unicorn.) Both sets have matching dies available.

And, since we're at the end of January, Valentine's Day is coming up, so a treat box is also on the agenda. I got the idea for this one right off the Funs Stampers Journey blog. It's fun to make, and a great way to package up some cookies or Valentine candy. Now I just need to bake and frost some cookies to take along for snacks.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Instant Pot Stackables

For Christmas I received a set of stackable pans for the Instant Pot. I immediately set out to find recipes for using them - I figured there would be piles of information out on the web. Well...basically I discovered that I need to search HARD! Since I'm probably going to lose the ideas I've found, I decided I'd better put them all in one place, thus this blog post! If anyone reads this and wants to add more ideas, they will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much to other IP users who have shared the following ideas.

Barbara Schlake shared these in the Facebook Group, Instant Pot Recipes Only:

Melissa Nesgoda shared several ideas in the same group:
  • Chicken on the bottom, with a bottled sauce or marinade, and Rice or Vegetables on top
  • Egg bake with cheese, vegetables, hashbrowns, etc. - not sure if that would take both pans
  • Reheat two leftovers at once
  • Lipton noodle side dishes - she mentions you should just use half the liquid it calls for
  • Noodles with alfredo sauce in one, pasta with spaghetti sauce in the other
In the Instant Pot Community Facebook Group, many people offered ideas:
  • Mary Simpson recommends salmon on the bottom and broccoli on the top (sounds healthy!)
  • Cindy Baldwin suggested Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
  • Lisa Kennard Martin said she makes two layers of egg bites (and warns that you may need to increase or even double the time needed)
Jeffrey Eisner at (he is so funny!) uses the stackables for:
I've joined quite a few Facebook Groups for the IP, and continue to find more. I plan to add to this list as I find new recipes or groups:
  • Pressure Luck
  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooking and Pressure Cooker Recipes
  • Instant Pot Recipes and Pressure Cooker Recipes by Amy+Jacky
  • Pressure Cook Recipes by Amy+Jacky
  • Home Pressure Cooking (Instant Pot and Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes)
  • Instant Pot for Beginners
  • Instant Pot ® / InstaPot Recipes & Tips for Beginners
  • Instant Pot Cooking and Tips
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, but maybe posting this will be of use to someone - I know it will help me keep track of these ideas!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Background for Diecut

Now that everything's ready for Christmas, I've decided it's time to make up a couple dozen birthday cards. My mom always needs these, and it's also nice to have some made up for times when I forget a birthday till the last minute! I wanted a simple design to mass-produce, and figured this would also be a good way to use up some retired paper. But this particular die cut doesn't show up well against the patterned paper, and makes the card look way too busy. I'm not about to fussy cut that many backgrounds, so I pulled out the Scan 'n' Cut.

First I used the gifts die from the For You Die Set (DI-0252) to cut a bunch of the open images.

Then I used one of the negative shapes to create my Scan 'n' Cut pattern for the backgrounds. Select SCAN, then SCAN TO CUT DATA.

After scanning, I framed the shape I wanted and outlined it. Then I saved the pattern to my machine. You can also save to a USB thumb drive if desired. Now I have the shape, I can use it anytime I need it.

To cut the backgrounds, I selected PATTERN from the home screen, then SAVED DATA. I selected my machine rather than USB, since that's where I saved my background, then used the arrows to get to the file.
Once I had the shape on my workspace, I scanned in the piece of card stock that I wanted to cut. When I can see where my card stock is on my workspace, I slide the pattern into place and cut. (I'm only showing one shape for simplicity's sake, but to do a whole sheet of the same shape, just keep clicking ADD and selecting the shape as many times as needed. But you have to slide each shape off the previous one, as they just pile up in the same spot!!)
Now I just glue the die cut onto the SnC background piece for the finished image.

I thought about scanning in the actual die cut so it could be resized, etc.  But it would take longer to cut all those little pieces, of course, and I'm not sure it would cut cleanly. I scanned it, but haven't tried cutting it and don't think I will. It sure doesn't look very good on the screen at 200%.