Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Silhouette Mint - the best stamp ever!

Hello crafty friends,

This really does have to be the best stamp ever!

It'll certainly help with my Christmas cards this year and next!

It's our own handwriting, no one would ever know (except if they see this of course)!

I'm just loving' it all - my iPad, my Mac & my Silhouette Mint!

If you only had one eh?

Happy crafting with your Silhouette machines.

Carole x

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Silhouette Mint - Quick & Easy Party ideas!

Hello crafty friends,

I'm sharing some very easy, quick & colourful party ideas for you today.  All you need is a Silhouette Mint and possibly a Silhouette Cameo ;)!

I used the Silhouette Studio software and Silhouette Cameo to cut out these little party flags.  I'm sure these would be easy to cut without the Silhouette Cameo, if you don't have one!

I very quickly rubbed them with the little bits of Cut 'n Dry foam, I inked last week (still the same ink on them, I still didn't need to refresh the ink!)

I decided the best way to stamp the Aardvark was to turn the stamp upside down and place my little flags on the stamp, you can see me pressing my finger onto the back of this blue flag, transferring the image.

All the Aardvarks were stamped without having to refresh the ink on the stamp.  So quick, no mess :)!

Happy crafting with your Silhouette machines.

Carole x

Monday, 23 November 2015

Silhouette Mint - Masking & UK Design Team

Hello friends,

After my long post yesterday about why we all need a Silhouette Mint, todays post will be a little shorter!  My aim today is to share with you a few projects you might see coming up on the TV show Hochanda, which I've made as part of  the Silhouette Design Team.  You will also see a few extra tips and tricks.

The first picture shows some more tags, if you look closely three of them are exactly the same as you saw on my blog yesterday.  The one in the bottom right hand corner is a bit different.  If you look at the stamp, which I've positioned on top of the different tag, on purpose, you will see that I've used some Washi tape to mask off the words before I stamped it.

As a "stamper" I was blown away when I realised how easy it was to mask off these stamps.  If this were a "regular" non Mint stamp, it would be much more difficult.  If you're a stamper you'd know that, but for those non stampers out there, believe's easy to mask off a part of the stamp, just like I've done here, if you'd like to!

I was interested to see how easy it would be to use a Stamp positioner with these type of stamps, so I tried you can see, easy again!

Like in my blog post yesterday, I made another little bag and extra tag for the TV.  Obviously I couldn't seal it, just in case the presenter wants to show the tags inside the bag.  If you look at the tag on top of the little bag you might see that I've inked around the edge.  This was to test the ink again.  Last week the first thing I made was the colour swatch.  To make the swatch I used a small piece of Cut 'n dry foam to ink a 'regular' stamp, that same piece of foam, without being inked again was still wet enough, almost a week later, to nicely edge the white tag.  The inks are slow drying it seems, on some surfaces.  The ink dries very quickly on uncoated (slightly rough to touch) card stock, but smooth and coated surfaces seem to need a little extra drying time.

The next picture shows what can be stamped in mass production.  Just imagine those little Aardvarks could be the initials of a couple getting married, they could be a picture of you on your special birthday, they could be a number, they could be your logo....the list goes on.

The little favour box was one I'd had for ages, I bought lots a few years ago for one of the stamping classes I taught, long before I had any Silhouette machine ;)!  You can also see a regular serviette there too!

I have many more ideas, come back tomorrow for a couple of simple ideas you can use a Silhouette Mint stamp for, see you then!

Happy crafting with your Silhouette machines ;)!

Carole x

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Why do I need a Silhouette Mint?

Hello Friends,

Why do I "need" a Silhouette Mint?

I expect most paper crafters would like to know exactly why they do need a Silhouette Mint, especially if they are crafters who like to use rubber stamping techniques on their projects.

I've had my Silhouette Mint for almost a week and already I'm really pleased to have it, I have a whole head full of ideas now, of why I need it and what stamps I plan to make.

The first stamp I made, I made with little thought, I was excited to try it out and get a stamp made as quickly as I could, so I chose to make one with "Happy birthday" on it!

That was quite probably a mistake because I have so many stamps in my stash and I dare not even begin to count how many I have with that sentiment on!

For a crafter wanting to venture into rubber stamping this little Mint, would be perfect.  They could be making all the sentiments they need, at what size and shape they want them.  All they need is a small stock of the blank supplies at home ready and waiting.  With the supplies on hand a stamp can be made very quickly, no need to order one, go and shop for one, pick up one that's not quite right...the list goes on!

For me though, someone who probably has in excess of 2000 stamps in her stash, why would I need one and how much use would I get out of it?

It didn't take me long to realise that this little gem of a product was probably best used for mass production of stamping projects.  The stamps made are absolutely perfect for mass production, they really don't need re-inking very often and miss stamping with them, is far less likely than a regular stamp.

After making the little "for you Aardvark" stamp, for a tag to go with a gift we'd bought (a picture of an Aardvark), I got thinking about mass production.  After all, the person we'd bought the picture for loved Aardvarks, so I guessed she'd like a few tags that she could use for gifts that she sent, so I set about making some to include in with the picture, as an additional gift......

I cut the tags out on my Silhouette Cameo, when I do projects like this that require stamping, I always cut out an extra bit for the stamping part, just in case I mess up!  There wasn't any messing up on these.  They were very easy to make and stamp.

After making those little tags I thought that I'd need to package them up, so I made this little bag and extra tag as a closure for the bag....

I cut the bag and tag bits out on my Silhouette Cameo too, the name "Alison" was written on the Cameo, I used a pen tool in the blade holder - simple!

Here is a picture of the parcel almost ready to send....

I think the extra tags make the gift that bit more special, made possible by quickly stamping, without re-inking that little stamp!

To finish off the whole look, I printed off a large picture, of the original image that I'd found on the internet ready to write the address.....

I didn't stop there, I promised Silhouette UK that I'd make them some projects for Hochanda, come back tomorrow to have a look at what I've made for them!

Thanks for looking today, I hope you enjoy your Silhouette Mint, when it arrives, if it hasn't already ;)!

Carole x

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Silhouette Mint Ink - inking & stamping!

Hello Friends,

I've spent another few more pleasurable hours messing about with my new Silhouette Mint.

I thought I'd share some pictures and some thoughts with you about what I'm learning.

This first picture shows my Silhouette Mint in action, it is actually making a stamp of an Aardvark!   Why an Aardvark, you might ask?  I guessed that if I wanted to test this little machine properly, I might as well make a stamp of something that isn't readily available.  In fact there isn't even a downloadable one in the Silhouette store!

I created the stamp in the Silhouette Mint software, using a royalty free design from the internet.

After making the stamp with the Aardvark on it and the worlds "for you", I started the inking process.  When I saw this part being shown on Hochanda, with different colours, I noticed that the colours next to each other had a tendency to bleed into one another, so I decided to ink very very carefully.  I had plenty of time, unlike the demonstrators on the T.V.

I chose to ink the words in purple and the Aardvark in black.  I gave the inks plenty of time to soak in.  Again I guessed the more time I gave them to soak into the stamp, the less likely they were to bleed into each other. 
 The first time I stamped (pic below), I stamped it very gently, hardly touching the card, again to try and stop the colours from wondering.

This picture below shows how many times it took me to stamp the stamp before I decided the image was good enough for the stamp label and then my project.  The stamp label is the image on the yellow backing sheet.  It was the 10th image and it was perfect!  

I went on, with confidence to stamp my project.......and whoops!  My project was the 11th time it had been stamped, but this time it was stamped onto very smooth card.  If you look closely you can see the messy image!

I decided a clean up was required, if I were going to want to use this stamp on smooth card.  I took one of my little alcohol cleaning swabs, wrapped it around a cocktail stick and set to work.

This cleaning process seemed to work really well and didn't seem to spoil or damage the stamp.

You can see how well it worked in the picture below.  Look closely at number 12, absolutely perfect :)!

With time running out, I decided to go back to the rougher card stock, to be on the safe side, for this little tag!

I hope you find my experience helpful, I'm off to see what else I can stamp an Aardvark on!

Happy crafting with your Silhouette machines and thanks for stopping by.

Carole x

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Silhouette MINT & Silhouette Cameo lessons

Hello friends,

I promised to be back today sharing the card I made with my first Silhouette Mint stamp.  Without further ado, here it is....

I had a few days away last week and on Friday, I spent the whole day all by myself in a very lovely hotel room, I'll share a couple of photos at the end of the post.

My plan for the day, prior to going was to make some Christmas cards, but to be honest, I couldn't get my act together!  I had to go with plan B, it only needed my little Mac!

A few month ago Jules from Always with a Heart, found the envelope calculator on my blog and wrote about it on her blog, bless her.  I have enjoyed looking at her blog ever since.  I love the little twist that she has running all the way throughout her blog, everything she makes has a heart on it somewhere, so cute!  - WOW, HOT NEWS!....I've just been on Jules's blog to get the correct links for posting this today and noticed that she's been nominated for the Britsh Craft Awards - Congratulations Jules, you deserve the recognition.  I've just voted and keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Anyway, back to the inspiration behind the card......Jules also has a great, easy to see and easy to follow Sketch Library.  The card I made with, my new Silhouette Mint stamp, uses her sketch number 10!

I must say, designing is so easy in the Silhouette software, I find it relaxing setting up files on my computer when I'm away from my Silhouette Cameo, it's a win win!  I'm still available to teach you only need to email me to book ;)!

Here are a few pics from my break away, in Derbyshire....

Perfect set up, I'd say....the table is always with me, it's the floor of my car boot!  I had my little Macbook Air and Hot Panda (that's what my husband calls it!) Hochanda on the TV!

The sun was shining in on me...check out the view!

It really was a room with a view!

A creative girl needs lunch!

So there we go, I was feeling relaxed and enjoyed my whole day, in fact I didn't get much done, but I did prepare a whole cut Silhouette cut file, thanks to Jules!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Silhouette MINT!

Hello friends,

I'm so excited, I have a new crafty toy!

My Silhouette MINT arrived this morning, along with a few extra stamp sheets and inks.  I really should have taken a photo of the unpacking of it all, whoops....I was excited, you know how it is!

After taking everything out of the boxes and downloading the software, I knew immediately where I needed to start!  I guessed that if I were to be making stamps the "MINT" way, i.e. Design it, MINT it, Ink it, I'd need to have colour swatches of all the inks!

Silhouette MINT stamping is different from what I'm used to.  With a MINT stamp we ink it and leave the colour to soak in, making it easy to quickly stamp it again, without re-inking.  Hence I needed a colour swatch, so that I could make the right decisions about what colours I wanted to put on my MINT stamps when I'd made some.

These are the colours that I'm starting with, the ones on the top of the picture all come with the MINT, the other boxed ones, were extras.

After having a little think about how to make my colour swatch, I decided to cut some tag shapes and a mint leaf shapes out on my Silhouette Cameo.  I cut the tag shapes out in cream colour and the leaf shapes out in white.

I then took a very old (red rubber) paisley stamp, one I've had for years and years, to use just as a quick image to test the ink colours.  I put a couple of drops of the Silhouette MINT-INK onto my craft sheet and picked that up with a small piece of Cut 'n dry foam, which I used as a mini ink pad to ink up the test stamp.  I stamped on both the white and the cream, to give me a good idea of how the colours looked, before even making my first MINT stamp.

This is how the final colour swatch looks.

After making my colour swatch, I found it easy to hold the different colours against my card stock and papers helping me to pick some card and papers for a card that will be on my blog tomorrow!

Hope you all have time to craft with your Silhouette machines soon!

Happy crafting and thanks for popping by.

Carole x