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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

learning curve

Well, it is! And although I know my cutters, this is NOT one for the faint hearted, though well worth getting to know!
I have been playing, though I will admit to having 3 days of PC issues. Unfortunatley I was getting impatient waiting for an email, so I foolishly installed Thunderbird to stop having to log into my email account. BIG MISTAKE! I got a virus from an email, so have spent 3 days installing a fresh operating system, and all my programs, which obviously curtailed play time!
 But I have just loaded the final program, and have managed to have a play!

Now this is 5x5 inch, and with the popout down is 2 1/2 inches deep, and all cut on the Zing, from Centura pearl base cardstock, green 400 gsm mirri, and a sheet of glossy paper. The Design is by L M Griffiths.
I think us UK'ers must use heavier materials as the norm over our American Cousins. So I'm starting to compile a list of force for our card stock, for Zingers! If you have info on our force needs, please feel free to add them in the comments, and I'll try to make a proper chart for us.

Right off to play some more........................


Thursday, April 25, 2013

okay this is what i saw when I created it.

Right, now I did post about this design a few days ago, however what I showed you wasnt what I was seeing when I created the design.
My issue was , then, that I didnt have the tools that I felt confident in doing the job with, so here's the finished project with the right tools in place to do it.

 Cut on gold 250gsm Mirri, on the Zing.

The card base measures 7 1/2 by 8 1/4 inch to give you an idea of size. And its Super Gold by Anna Marie Designs.
 So First the Alium I designed and is available as an MTC file on MTC. Then the little plaque bottom Right, were cut twice on the Zing, force 120,
next it was matted onto some Black "Chocolate" card again Anna Marie Designs, then some gold coated brown paper from Payper Box.
The next layer is actually the remains of the backing sheet from a pack of cheap craft goodies from my local Pound shop!
 The ribbon is a luxurious double-sided Gold/chocolate brown from Ribbon box, a special on the run up to Christmas last year, very heavy!
I cut the flowers again on the gold coated Brown paper, rolled, and hot-glue gunned with a gem in the centre of each flower.
Finally, I used a small stamp from the boys at Kraftyhands. from the Hibiscus Stampography set designed by the fab Ian Campbell. Its a set of clear stamps, with some butterflies, a Hibiscus obviously, and some lovely fonts. I simply stamped it in Stazon, black.

So now you see what I saw!




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I need a good online lawyer

I havent got time to go filling all the paperwork in, so quick easy and cheap please!
I need to divorce hubby as soon as possible, and marry Zing.
Seriously, in the time it took me to go down stairs, fill the kettle with enough water for one cup of coffee, and put it on to boil, Zing had already finished the job I set him!
No " oh yes, in a minute",
No "what was it you wanted me to do?"
 No "oh I was doing it but........"
He just got on with the job at hand, and completed his task, blooming quicker than I would have expected!
So as Zing can do it, I see no reason why hubby cant! So now I need to get rid of hubby, and marry Zing!

Only kidding, as Zing cant make me cups of coffee on demand, but one day those genius's at Accugraphics will manage it I'm sure, then watch out hubby!!!

I'm no stranger to cutting machines, but having had a CR, a Cameo, and an E-craft, all of which cost a similar amount here in the UK, here's my opinion:

Noise: much quieter than any of the others, with Cameo I can stand in the kitchen and hear it, with E-craft I stand in the hall downstairs. With Zing I was half way downstairs, with the door open, before I lost sound.

Speed: Cameo is slightly faster than E-craft, and much faster than the old CR. But Zing is an F1 race car compared to those 3!

Size and appearance:  E-craft is designed sleek and stylish, though bulky with the tray on the back, Cameo, again styled, but slim. Zing is styled, but in a more robust sense of the word. Looking at it you know its well built, solid, and functional, not flimsy and decorative.

Consumables: Right, E-craft blades are dirt cheap and you MUST remember to clean out the grey cap every time! Cameo, expensive and without the new cap on the blade, impossible to keep free of bits of paper and card. Zing blades are HEAVY! There is a noticeable weight in the palm of your hand from just one blade! Zing also has finer tuning on the blade depth than the Cameo, the E-craft doesn't have fine tuning as such. Zing blades are just under £7 for one blade, cheaper than Cameo, more expensive than E-craft.
Mats: Now I'm used to cutting mats, I don't LIKE cutting mats, but I am used to them. E-craft we will have to ignore, as it doesn't have one, officially, and one of the big selling points is that it doesn't need one. Cameo, flimsy, bends easily, thick layer of glue on it, which tears the paper on the first few uses, unless you de-sticky the mat with a towel first. Zing a substantial mat, built to last, quite stiff, more like a vegetable cutting mat. Good stickiness to the glue, but not aggressive in the refusing to let go of the paper so it tears on you! And not a thick layer either, so the blade isn't digging through the glue while cutting the paper. You get 2 mats for the same price as 1 Cameo mat, and the 14x 24 inch mat costs under £12.
Extra consumables with the Zing: okay so there's different types of blade for different purposes, which actually makes more sense. You wouldn't cut through chipboard, or greyboard with your finest tipped knife would you? You'd break the blade. And the same goes for Zing. They have 3 blades, a paper blade, a thick materials blade, and a fabric blade. Okay so that's easy enough to sort out, 'ish in the cameo, get the blades, and keep them separated out for different purposes. Zing goes a little bit further. Zing has colour coded blade holders, so you know which blade is which! They are also hefty holders. Believe me if you dropped one without realising you'd hear it! Always a bonus, as I have recently dropped one of my old CR blade covers, and I cant find it! Though the holders are expensive.
Springs. Each blade needs a spring, so that it has some give, and they are tiny springs, and could easily be lost, another reason for the blade holder.
And then there's some extras: A double ended embossing tool, one end for scoring, one end for embossing. A punching tool, punches holes for you. An Engraving tool, erm engraves thin metals and vellum. And a special tool for holding things like Quickie glue pens, which would just slip in the tool holder otherwise.

Ease of use: Each machine is different. Cameo has its strengths and weakness', as does E-craft and CR and I'll probably write further opinions on Zing, as I get to know him. But if you want a machine to electronically cut for you then you do need to be aware that each and every machine has a learning curve that goes with it. E-craft now say that their machine isn't a plug-and-play type of machine. The software with it is very limited, you cant design on your own in the program. Cameo has the Silhouette program, good for designing things yourself, though limited if you want to use different file types, unless you pay for the designer edition. Zing comes with MTC, which I rave about. So I'm not going to bore you here.
So differences between the 3 machines.: E-craft you adjust the pressure dial on the machine, and adjust the tabs which hold the pieces in place until you are ready to pop them out. Front and back loading, you are supposed to be able to stack card in the tray and it will cut as many sheets as you tell it to. Good for batch making. Maximum cutting WIDTH @ 10 1/2 inches, on a 12x12. This machine does not do print and cut. but has a roll feed on the tray.
Cameo, front loaded, adjust the blade depth by inserting the blade holder end into a built in socket, and adjust the pressure either on screen or on the machine itself. You can also adjust the speed at which the Cameo cuts.Maximum cutting WIDTH 12 inches, IF your mat is in the perfect position. Cameo does print and cut. Also with the larger mat 12x24 inch.
Zing, okay you can adjust blade depth, blade holder height, pressure, speed it cuts at and separately speed it moves from one position to another to begin cutting again somewhere else. There's a lot more tweaking to do to set the machine up for the perfect cut. I haven't tried this yet, but..............I can talk to the machine through my pc as well, its called Zing Speak. Maximum cut WIDTH 12 inches, as you set the blade to the corner of your 12x12 paper. As in exactly on the corner! Zing does Print and Cut. However there is a 14x 24 inch mat for this machine. So Maximum cut WIDTH is 14 inches, though it can THEORETICALLY do 15 inches without a mat.

To say that these machines are all within the same price range, unless on special offer, there's a lot of difference from one to the other.
I read the manual and watched ALL the online videos for setting this up over the weekend, between curtain twitching for the delivery man. Though I was actually in bed when the delivery van arrived, asleep, the noise of his doors opening and closing got me out of bed quick enough! I read the manual AGAIN as I was setting it up, going through step by step. (Actually the manual is very well written, its an online one, as its constantly being updated, and has links to all the videos you will ever need for setting this up perfectly!) I made the tweaks I needed to for my paper, yes I had 2 mistakes, where I hadn't increased the pressure enough for my paperweight. That's where test cuts come in handy! But I made a successful cut once I had the pressure right.
 Its all about learning..............that's why we craft, we try new techniques and products, we learn. So learning to use a Zing is something worth spending time on.

Now do I go order my extras now, or do I play some more? Hmmn, hubbys gone for a lie down, think I'll play and see if the noise wakes him.............I doubt it will wake him though, its that quiet!

by the way.............Well done for getting this far!




Monday, April 22, 2013

been playing

well, I am twiddling my fingers, apparently its at Gatwick!
So bored I started being creative, 2 cards today, and nothing from the Boys at Ktafyhands, lol

 Butterfly Trails:
I put this file up in the MTC forum, a few hours ago, all cut on my silhouette, with a blunt blade! The butterfly is cut dimensionally so that it appears to be turning, even if its flat on the page. I am most proud though of the hardest bit of the design, it took forever to get that bit right! The distressed mat!
This one is an Alium design I made today, again in the MTC gallery. working with a blunt blade means a lot of work!!!


hope you like them,
Anonymous, there is a response hun, at the end of the comments, on which you were posting, xxx Hope it helps,

enjoy your night guys and girls, I am in a right stinking mood now, because of Craftwell, so blood pressures up, and it will take me some hours to calm down!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

ohhh come on postie! (Gimme that Zing!)

Okay I know I only finally ordered after close of business last night, but I had been hovering over the buy button for 3 days, surely that counts for something?
Okay okay I know it doesnt really but it seems so long ago that I was at the point of clicking on buy..................
"Enough!" you say "What is it?"
Okay so before I do the big reveal, you all know that I have been burbling on about MTC, and if it wasnt for MTC putting their name to this I wouldnt even have considered it! Seriously!
The thing about MTC is I like their philosophy. I like what they do, and I like the way they operate! I know of NO OTHER company which offers as much support as they do, which listens to its customers the way they do, which responds to its customers the way they do! And being a "jaded" uk crafter, that actually says quite a lot!
If you have 2 cutting machines, then IMHO you NEED MTC! Heck if you only have 1 cutting machine , you NEED MTC, because it opens all the other cutting files up for you!
"Okay we get the message!"you're screaming about now.

So some background: the opening shots on C&C, and throughout the program the other day did do close ups on something I had designed myself in MTC:
Now I'm not saying that is was simple to do, what I am saying is that without MTC showing me how to do it, I wouldnt have done it. I wouldnt have had a clue where to start!
Now the problem I had was the amount of time it took to cut, as its a very detailed cut file, loads of small cut lines, shed loads of score lines! It took over 1 hr to cut! And when you cut one for practice, then do a bit of adjustment, then cut again, adjust a bit more, then cut, and find a mistake, and the finally cut on the good stuff.....Well thats 5 hrs gone! And I was cutting on 2 machines, the Cameo, and the E-craft, and even within their own programs, and it made no difference!
"Hmmn, pretty but at that length of time to cut, not really practical!" Which was my point exactly! So I asked the guys at MTC wether there was anything I could do to speed it up? "Well its very detailed," they said, "But you can reduce some of it, (so they told me how), but even that isnt going to speed it up very much on the machines your using."
"So what machine would speed it up then?" Was my response.
"The Zing or any KNK machine."
"Huh?" Now I have heard of KNK, being on MTC you cant fail to notice KNK, but I had heard of it before, almost exclusively in USA blogs.  I do know that it is considered a whizz bang machine, but to my knowledge it wasnt available in the uk.
So I started hunting, I must admit, that I wasnt the only one hunting, my partner in craft, FG (Fairy Godmother) was hunting too, and as of Tuesday night, we have been soooooooooooooooo close to pressing the buy button on MTC!
But we didnt!
Why? Because we couldnt find a UK distributor! There was NO WAY we were going to pay that money for something that had no support here in the UK! As we looked more and more, we could find no distributor, and it looked like if it went wrong then we would have to pay to ship it to the States (Post office wanted £159!)!! Oh-o!
So we started asking questions! First off on the MTC forum, (Bow down and worship!), and emails to the KNK company in America. The MTC forum question was answered by the Vice-President at KNK, and he gave me contact details for someone in the UK, who would demo it for me.
The emails seem to have lost translation somewhere, must be the language barrier, and werent particularly helpful, on things like, whats the shipping going to cost if it goes wrong? No contact in the UK... the heart fell at this point, however, I was not to be put off lightly! So I emailed, again, and even set a clock on my desktop to Apopka time! The second email resulted in a phone call!
" No you wont have to pay to send it to the States if it goes wrong! There is a distributor who will do the servicing in the UK, if its simple to do, we will send you a video and the part, and you can do it yourself! Less time messing around waiting for it to be fixed! Support is in the UK. Chad has sent you the distributors contact details."
AHA so the contact details the VP had messaged me were the distributors contact details! But I had emailed this person and got no response in 24 hrs ish, can you tell I'm not a patient person?
Suddenly, yesterday, an email hit my inbox! It was the distributor! Apologies for the delay, internet failure for 24 hrs, loads of emails to weed through etc, yes, I am the distibutor, however you're in Lancashire, quite a way between us, I do the repairs, only had 2 repairs to do, one was really simple, 1 had to be returned to the states, etc, no postage is within the UK not to the states, etc etc..........
So I was sitting there with my finger on the enter credit card details button, and my Phone Moo-ed! Now those who know me , know that my phone Moo's, its my message tone, very embarrassing in the dairy aisle of the supermarket! But I always know I have a message, my Grandson even bought me a mug with cows and the words Moo all round it for mothersday, he's 3, lol, and he chose it, mainly because he always catches me using his mug, when he comes round,!
But back to the Moo! so I didnt click! I looked at the message "Get your finger OFF the buy button!" was the message from FG! Now normally I actually do this to her and she looks for a camera, me spying on her, I'm not I just know her too well, well that message left me looking for the camera I can tell you!
So finger came off the buy button, as we were just waiting for another email from the distributor, confirming some of what I have already told you about the number of repairs etc.
Finally the email came through! Woo-hoo! So find the page again, click on buy! Oho! Fraud prevention kicked in! Card refused, phone call from the back asking wether it had been me making this order, etc! okay then do it again, and the order will go through.
Hmmn, email the distributor, ask them to check wether the payment went through............... eventually check the bank balance, the money is still showing in my account, so finally lost my patience, waiting, bear in mind I had been waiting for 3 days! Go back to the page, and click buy! verification email recieved! 48hr delivery!
Problem is that it took me 3 days to find the answers, and due to the fraud prevention kicking in, I ordered after the close of business on Friday!! AAAAAaaaaaaargh! PATIENCE IS NOT MY MIDDLE NAME!

Now I am going to admit something here! I hadnt actually done that much research on the machine itself! The company yes, the machine itself, no! The fact that MTC support it is MORE than enough for me, I trust them that implicitly!
So I down loaded the manual for the Zing and how to use it in MTC. Boy did I learn a LOT! I had no idea that you could talk to the machine, and tell it what to do! Andy from MTC you are a GENIUS! He's the one who wrote Zing Speak, boy do I want to play with that!!
Set-up makes huge sense for me, the set up instructions are Fab! wish I could do that on my other machines!!
Right one last bit: What has concerned me all along is the fact that I couldnt find a UK distributor for the KNK machines. It wasnt mentioned on the forum for MTC or KNK. And its the one thing that held me back for 3 days, 3 very long days!!
So what did I do, well obviously I shared some of what I know on the MTC, and KNK forums! I happen to know that as a result of posting some of the details on MTC, another person is now just deciding on which KNK machine to buy, either the Zing like me or the Maxx. He couldnt find any info on UK support either, and that was stopping Him from ordering, just like it was stopping FG and Myself. So if it was stopping us 3 from ordering then it will also stop others in the UK from ordering.
If you are one of those who need to know that there is support for KNK machines in the UK, then honestly, hand on heart I tell you that there is support HERE! It might be the best kept secret ever, and I am not going to divulge the Distributors details, and yes I have researched the Distributor, as the Distributor researched me, lol, but they do exist, so order with confidence guys! ( Edited to add: the information for the KNK distributor is now available on the MTC Website. Thank you Sharon, xxx) ( Please also read ALL the comments, answers to questions are in there!)
Right enough from me, I'm off to twiddle my fingers for another few days! But at least I can craft now! I was that stressed with all this that I havent been able to do anything, I even left a brand new printer sitting on my craft desk, un-installed!

off to do some wind down crafting!



Ps Just checked my emails, and have one from Accugraphics confirming the order details, woo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

rest of my samples:

Heres the rest of my samples for todays show:

I noticed that Ian had added the vw charm to this in the show, lol

its on ideal world now

hi guys quick update
they have shifted the kraftyhands to ideal world on now, and 4 pm on C&C


well you know how it is, you have everything planned for a nice day, and then suddenly in 24 hrs or less everything changes and you have one of those rushed days?

That happened last night so...............stay up till 4 am, watching a fab weekly live webinar over at MTC, and I asked a question, so getting the answer was important, and would have been rude of me not to be there. Then climb into bed and try to stop the brain re-hashing the information I got from the webinar (fat Chance!), up at 7.30, get youngest off to school, come home write this, then back out the door for 10.15 for youngests school progress report, then at the hospital at 11.30 to get a cardio monitor fitted, then shoot back home, even though its on record (Now it is!) for mine and youngests cards on the Kraftyhands show at midday on C&C, then back out the door for the reverse school run, and hope not too miss too much of the start of the 3pm show!
All my fault as I completely forgot about the school report, and Cardio appointment! Cant blame anyone else! and now 22hrs of hell with this damn cardio machine! Its only my BP, but I have to have my BP done manually as these new machines hurt, part of the Fibro and EDS, nothing I can do, and of course today is a pain day due to lack of sleep and a missing tablet, so phone the company managing the chemist I use to complain AGAIN! I really should transfer to a new chemist, dont know if I have the energy today! And I have to take my painkillers, orders of the gp, (I'm not a good tablet taker, If I can do without, I will, but of course pain pushes the BP up, Vicious circle!)so thats going to wipe me out as well!
Anyway, to my main project for the show


so what did I do?
firstly the papers are from the cd, as is the topper. the outside paper is also decorated with one of the Stamps KH do, yes they do stamps as well, with some flitter glue, and gilding flakes. theres also ribbon threaders all the way around, from the cd, with the scallops cut off. Raffia has been threaded through the ribbon threaders instead of ribbon, and then plaited to form the tie close part. The outside topper is actually one of the distressed bonus toppers from the cd. The cuts were made on the cameo, using MTC, and it took me 24 hrs to do the cut file, but worth it I think. Theres Mirri behind the cuts, to add definition to the cut out/pop up words, which have been individually painted with My Craft Studio Gold ink. The matt and Topper are from one of the stepper card kits. hopefully they'll show it on the show, as It does look better in proper lighting!
right its 9.30, time for a cup of coffee and make sure my head is together to get to school then the hospital................
Do tune in and let me know what you think please? Also if the hat box isnt full will some one phone me and let me know, so I can shout at the boys?



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

whats on the cd?

Morning, well the shows tomorrow, so here's one of the sets that's on the CD, just click and go:

The CD this time, as well as the Stepper card kits, also has Gate fold cards on it. Except for the letter tiles, base card and the pencil, everything you see came on 2 sheets of card.

so what did I do? 

Basically I made up the card as per the sheets, then I had to decide what sentiment went where............. Yeah okay, I got side tracked! On the CD are 2 sizes of letter tiles, in colours that match the designs, so I cut some out, to say I Love You Dad. 

So that's the sentiment I really wanted in the card, but just for a bit of fun, I bagged the tiles up, and if you expand the picture you will see that I drew a rough guide for each of the tiles, so that "Dad" has to assemble the message! I added the pencil from my stash and some ribbon to close it.
The star tag is from the same sheets as the design, I just coloured the back with a Spectrum Noir, and then used some clear embossing powder to glaze it. I also used a versamark pen and clear embossing powder on the little buttons printed on the front panel.

Right that's it from me for today, I'm heading off to bed now, as I have an incredibly good webinar to watch tonight with MTC, its in USA time, so that means a good sleep now, so I can stay awake until the webinar ends, generally about 3-4 am UK time, but its worth going without sleep! I learn sooooooooooooo much every single week, Bryan, Andy (the programmer), and Julie make it an incredibly good and informative experience. Ta Guys!

Monday, April 15, 2013

another new one

I know I know, I am a bad blogger, but I have all sorts of things going on, all craft related, and the blog is a bit neglected, apart from the posts just before the CD is released, one day I'll get back on top of it.
Firstly though a question, does anyone know of a KNK demonstrator in the UK  I really want to see the new zing in operation................well a girl can never have too many machines now can she?

but onto the reason for the post:

Wednesday at 12 and 3 pm sees the launch of the new fill a hole in the market CD  A man about Town. by the boys at Kraftyhands.
This CD is intended purely for mens cards, now how often do we say that? Having said that I think you will agree that the Hat-box wasn't necessarily masculine! And I have been to Krafty Towers today and seen the samples my other teamies have created, wowsers! We all start with the same thing the CD, but what we produce are totally different items from the same disk, its awe inspiring how we all go down different routes with it! Other than the images and papers each of us has gone down a different route, and one of Sylvie's is a STUNNER, LOVE the ribbon threader one Sylvie!
So to today's offering:

An acetate fronted card.

The image is from one of the Top Toppers sheets printed on canvas paper. The acetate is 220 mn embossed with one of the A4 E-bosser/Darice folders that came with my E-bosser, Now I must say here, that I do have my Happy, and a Bug, and the E-bosser, (yes okay I like machinery!) and acetate can be a bit tricky sometimes to get a really good even emboss over the whole page, you know, some times there are parts that don't emboss as deeply as others? But I must admit that I haven't come across this issue with the E-bosser. It embossed the full sheet perfectly!

So back to the card, really simple, a 5.5 x5.5 base card, the background is from the Bonus Distressed papers, and that's it! 
Simple , effective, not too fancy, I mean not all blokes like their cards full of ribbon and flowers, and It looks lovely! 
Oh and Ian promises to start doing some inserts on the next CD, (had a peek today and its stunning!)!

right off to relax, do something for me, or (sorry for swearing) tidy the craft room, as it really IS a MESS!

And I knew Ian wouldn't be able to resist, but I do hope he has left some macaroons for the guys at C&C!
Oh one final thing, especially as more and more are now buying KH stuff: You know we have a challenge blog? make a card to the theme, and enter before the first friday of the month, if you use KH stuff then you stand to win a voucher from the boys, to buy physical goodies with! None of this digital rewards, proper gear you can hold and stroke! enter over here!

right think I'll tidy up before I do anything else,

lol, have fun

Lou  xx

Sunday, April 14, 2013

well it IS their birthday..........

Well it is the 10th birthday over at C&C, so as part of my sample work I decided to push the boat out, a bit...........

       This will be live on the screen on Wednesday this week, as an offering from the Boys at Kraftyhands, with their new CD Man about Town.
This cd really fills a hole in the market, and is very Noel Coward'ish if you understand what I mean?
However to this project. APART from the Macaroons, glitzy card, ribbon and flowers, its all from the cd. But if you get the cd, you might have to hunt to actually find what I used................as they are actually bonus items,.

This is a 10 inch hat box made from a single repeated 5.5 x 5.5 paper, I simply took a snapshot of it with adobe and then printed it out onto 12 x 12 pearlescent card stock, the quality is that good that I was more than comfortable printing it out that size. and that paper is originally as big as the main topper on the lid, minus the glitzy bit.
I havent done too much with this as the file I used was a Silhouette online store file, cut using MTC, but I must admit that the flowers are a redo, I put way too many on before, so I took them off and just put 3 on.

NOW LISTEN IAN AND MIKE>...................No eating till you open the box on air!!  Keep your sticky little mitts off them, as there are loads in the box!

So what did I use? A 9 inch hat box design from Silhouette online, my Cameo, and MTC, some glitzy gold cardstock, for matting, the tiles are from the cd, as is the topper and paper from the Bonus Distressed papers and the City retreat papers. The scallops were cut using the E-bosser and Spellbinders Classic Scallop edgebilities die, the flowers from my stash, decorated with Cosmic Shimmer Gold Pearlescent glue.

Right, as I made the macaroons late tonight, so they will still be good on Wednesday  I am going to have to drive these to the Boys office in Leeds tomorrow, so, a bit of C&C and then beddie bye-byes for me,



Thursday, April 11, 2013

better get on with this

Hi guys
apologies for not blogging much, but lets give you a quick run down of what I have been up to.
Firstly, I have been card making, shed loads, unfortunately, as daughter has them to bag , she hasnt taken photos just yet, so one day there's just going to be @250 photos appear on my page.........
Having loads of paper kits, I decided it was time to start using them, sigh, and lets put it this way about 100 of the cards are from My Paper Stash's Alice in Wonderland collection.  I really cant complain about the amount of material there was in those books, but it was getting pretty hard going, being creative in different ways.. not to mention the fact that last week, and I swear I had done all the sheets, I found another 10 sheets............... so those need to be done. But having said that, I do really like the cards I made with it.
Secondly, I have an E-craft by Craftwell, and a Cameo by Silhouette. 2 totally different machines, with different capabilities and different file systems. So I needed to figure out how to do the same things on both machines, and in the end, and to my eternal joy, I ended up with a software program called Make The Cut. So there has been a steep learning curve, and hours spent watching the tutorials. So Make The Cut, MTC, is a software package that can send the same design to the E-craft and the Cameo, from one program. So why am I burbling on about this program?
The reason is if you have an E-craft, and you are browsing the web, and you come across this fabulous image cut file, only its in .gsd format (intended to be cut on a craft robo or Cameo) then you cant use that file! You can NOT cut that design on your E-craft, as E-craft only uses .svg cut files. So you sit there disappointed, and try to figure out a way to get that file so you can use it, only you cant. there is no stand alone program that can take that .gsd and make it so you can cut it on your E-craft. Or rather the Wasnt!
MTC can take the .gsd file and cut it on your E-craft! It can take an .svg and cut it on the Cameo. It can take a .wpc file and cut it, .ai or .eps files. The only files it cant and WONT (quite deliberately)  take are .studio and Provocraft (Cricut) files. This is due to the proprietary software that Silhouette and Provocraft use, and their licencing restrictions. Okay interesting but not an absolute necessity you say, Sorry but I disagree. Why? Because I have NEVER known a company like this one! This company MTC have a forum, yes same as everyone else does, has a manual, same as everyone else does, has a wish list, same as everyone else does, but theirs is a visible wishlist, not hidden away so you have no idea how many people have asked for exactly the same thing as you, but also has a webinar every tuesday night, USA time, that you can join in, and learn.
This is NOT something you are paying extra for. This is available to either watch live, and its generally about 2 hrs, or you can watch a few days later when it gets posted to a hosting site. And its INCREDIBLE! you actually get the programmers, the blokes who wrote the software, showing you how it works. Its live so if there was something you didnt understand, or you had a query about what they did you can ask questions. The customer support is second to NONE!
Oh by the way if your interested then theres a link-----------------> at the top. Yes its a program you pay for........BUT its also a program that you can do nearly anything on. There's thousands of free files available,   I can use nearly all of them on machines that the designs werent intended for, not to mention MTC's own file format, which comes with the program, and there's a good couple of thousand free cut files in there as well.
Now dont get me wrong. I forked out for the Silhouette Designer Edition so I could cut .svg's from Craft Artist Professional 2 on my Cameo, even though I have the E-craft which cuts .svg's, because the machines are different, and cut differently. Now I consider buying the SDE a waste of money!
Why? Because the MTC program slows the E-craft down, and enables me to make finer cuts! My E-craft can be a bit aggressive  and want to move too quickly for my papers and designs sometimes, so slowing it down means I am not wasting as much paper and time, and my frustration levels are Waaaaaaaayyyyy lower! Sometimes I havent got the energy to shift from one machine to the other, and clear one away while I run the other one, (space is limited in here you know!) so I can use which ever machine is out and available.  I dont have to panic or stress as now they cut perfectly, and I have learnt shed loads which has enabled me to do some designing of my own, which brings me onto my third reason for not blogging........
I have been doing loads of work for Kraftyhands, on tv next week, Man About Town CD. Boy does this fill a hole! So lets see what the reason were for the delays in blogging..........I wanted a statement piece, and boy was it a doozy of an idea! I needed to figure out how to do it...........
Let me say first: This was cut on my E-craft! Bouncy Bouncy Bouncy! The idea and instructions came from one of the webinars for MTC.

 Now due to a printer failure, still in warranty, and currently waiting for UPS to deliver the new one at some point today, (so I am curtain twitching,) I had to piece together 2 sheets of A4 to be able to cut the finished sample out, so when I post the finished sample next week, that one was cut on the Cameo, because of joining 2 pieces of card together to make a 12x12, but as you can see the E-craft dealt with it brilliantly, If it hadnt been for the join I would have used the E-craft, but hey-ho!
So more samples next week, as the boys have shows on Thursday at 12pm and 3 pm, but seriously if you have any type of cutting machine, except Cricut, you might want to consider the advantages of being able to use ANY design ( apart from .studio and cricut files) on your machine...........it opens up a world of possibilities!

Right off to disconnect this naff old Epson printer, an EXTREME emergency back up only printer, and make sure everything is ready for my new baby to slot straight into the spot vacated by the broken touch screen one.Then I can get back to printing in A3+ size! and back to "shakin' that tree Boss!"
Hope to catch you next week,

hugs, and thank you for stopping by,


Saturday, April 06, 2013

new challenge over at Krafty Hands.

morning, well I'm a couple of hours late, sigh, its called having a 16yr old border Collie, who has come into season, and 2 (2yr old tomorrow) male rotties................................................yep........................

anyway a quick post as I need to get a move one here, got samples to make for the next Kraftyhands show, and going over to the Leigh fair tomorrow, and I want to take 1 sample with me, so I really need to move as this is my "statement piece" I want to finish, then the others wont take long. so to business:

on the first saturday of every month Kraftyhands run a challenge on their challenge blog. This month the challenge is Shades of Blue.
now you can enter using anyones products, but then you can only achieve a top 3 place, BUT if you use some Kraftyhands artwork, then you stand to be in with a chance of winning a voucher against some physical goodies in their online shop, they dont do digi's, so a tangible reward!
You may not realise who Kraftyhands are, but if you live in the UK and have attended any craft show within the last 5 yrs, chances are you have picked up something of theirs. Also they are now on Create and Craft, and the disks and paper kits are going down a storm!
So you probably have something you can use to enter to win the voucher, so why not have a go?
here's my entry:
This is from the Garden Steps CD, a cd full of , yes you guessed it, stepper cards with a garden theme!

Its a lovely little cd, very springlike!
So mine was printer onto white cardstock, I rarely use paper, then mounted onto some silver mirri to lift it, then onto a nice navy cardstock base. And made the stepper card from there. The butterfly, one of the embellishments  was cut out, glittered and glazed and mounted onto some acetate and stuck inside the top of the folded card base. Cut out the stepper decorations, glaze each of the flowers, and glitter the tiny butterflies, add the sentiment and a lovely card is done and dusted.
right Hi-ho hi-ho its off to work I go,

catch you later, xxx

Monday, April 01, 2013

I'm late I'm late..........

grr, this should have posted itself yesterday, apologies!

Here's a card I made for Easter as part of my Kraftyhands responsibilites.

Actually this card caused me some issues! As you maybe aware I have been fiddling with cutting files lately, and I had this idea for this card, a double gatefold, latticed oval, with the main image inside......................

Yeah Right!

I had everything cut and preped, just ready to stick it all together, and what happened? I got left with this!

Not that Im complaining, as its still nice, but it just didnt seem to fit with the stuff I had planned, ho-hum!
This is from the fabulous Floral Fantasy cd. the colours are beautiful, clean and spring like, a lovely cd.

Right by this time, I should be tucking into my Eggs Benedict, Have a wonderful and relaxing Easter everyone, xxx