Saturday, March 12, 2016

The trails and tribulations of learning my Brother Scan-N-Cut

It is hard to believe it has been nearly 12 months since I last posted, but life got in the way and didn't leave much time or energy for creating, which meant nothing to blog about.
What better time to make a new start than Spring, I am planning to keep up to date with new work and ideas, so watch this space.

In November I bought a Brother Scan-n-Cut so one thing I want to do is make my own stencils and masks using Mylar and Doeflex as well as using it with fabrics such as Lutradur and Pelmet Vilene. I was delighted at how cleanly this machine cuts all of these materials.

I didn't really get a chance to explore what this machine could do until a few weeks ago so after playing around with card trying out settings my first proper attempt was to use Vinyl to create a decal for my husbands scooter.

The next was to make something a little bigger for the glove box on the scooter, quite a learning curve, working out how to kiss cut so I didn't rip through the backing and my mat.

The last few days I have been thinking of making stencils, it took longer to decide on a design as every motif I thought of has been done to death, so I decided to create simple mark making  designs, starting with the letter 'i' from the text folder on the machine, I repeated the letter and made it different sizes, I like the fact the dot over the 'i' became oval as it stretched. I cut these from card and was quite pleased with the result from such a simple source.


The next exercise was to try the same thing on Brother Scan-n Cut Canvas, I don't find this site easy, but I am sure it will get easier once I have used it a bit more.
This was useful in learning how to get the design from the computer to a USB stick and onto the SNC.
I cut this out first in white card and then in Mylar.

Before I could make any stencils I had to test cut my Mylar, as you can see it took a lot of tries, after test cutting the Mylar many times even with the blade set to 12 and pressure 2 it wouldn't cut.  I put in a new blade and  finally achieved the result I wanted.

I had noticed my blade seemed to need a higher setting on card and a new recommended card I bought wasn't cutting cleanly after I had made the second decal on Vinyl, I kept checking the blade and it looked fine, I thought it was just getting duller, but on closer inspection with a magnifying glass the tip was missing, I think one of the close turns on the lettering must have damaged it.
It would have saved a good amount of time if I had changed the blade sooner but I shall know better next time.

The first design on the Mylar was to cut the letter 'i' as above, then stripes and squares taken from the built in designs on the SNC

My next tryout on the machine was to create a drawn image, scan it and make a cutting file, this turned into quite a saga, below was my first little sketch about 3" high. 
I drew it in pencil so that it would possibly give me a worn edge once enlarged as it does in photocopies.

This is the drawn image scanned and drawn on the machine, a bit more worn than expected  ha ha.

The next move was to trace the image on layout paper with a permanent pen, the result when this was scanned was bizzare creating so many lines I didn't bother even drawing it out.

I need to buy some decent black pens to draw out my designs in the future.

Time for plan B, I chose a heart from the designs on the machine, stretched it out to 5" high and 3 1/2" wide, I then cut this out on black card, cut the card up the middle and cut the small nicks out, placed this on the scan mat and loaded it in the machine

Tried again with another heart, cut diagonally and punched some holes around the edge, but of course once cut in the Mylar it just left the heart aperture as the holes were not bridged to the outer edges Doh!
This would work with the inner heart pieces as a mask.

Rather than start at the beginning I cut the edges of the circles away, I like the result.

Below are the finished stencils cut in Mylar, and the positive shapes will make masks.

Next step is to stencil on fabric.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New toys

A new distraction arrived in the post, I haven't tried the Aquatint inks before and I am looking forward to playing with them soon.

Time to make some colour swatches.

Its me again

I was getting ready for Helfa Gelf last time I posted, it went well and I sold quite a few things, but I have decided its not for me, and I won't be participating in the future.
The last few years have been great mainly due to the lovely ladies I was exhibiting with in Arial Arts.

Making things to sell is not what I am about,  I like to create as the mood takes me and have lots of ideas for the next few months.

Not much creativity in the last couple of months as I went down with the virus that seems to be affecting everyone this winter, it lasted over 7 weeks and then Christmas was upon us.

 I have decided it is time for me to learn to crochet properly, I can do the stitches, but they never went where I wanted them to go, it is those darn turning chains that get me.
I saw the cosy blanket on
Attic 24 and decided to make one.

My yarn arrived in its own Organza bag.

I chose my own colours and they fit perfectly in my felt basket.

Next step was to wrap the colours around some pegs and put them in order

Ordered some soft grip crochet hooks, so no excuse now.

I saw a good tip on Create and Craft TV, when making a foundation chain, use a hook one size up to create the chain.
I can't tell you how many times I tried to count 198 chains, something or someone distracted me every time, so finally yesterday I did this

I pinned every 10th chain, odds are I am still one short or one too many

and now onto the next this space :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rusty Fabrics

In the last post back in April, I made a lot of rusted fabrics and papers while I was on the Alice Fox course,  I decided it was time to start using them up along with a lot more rusted fabrics created last year.
First I thought I would make a few more.
(apologies I put Amanda Fox. have now corrected it to Alice Fox)

Fabric wrapped around rusty tin cans

Fabric wrapped around 6" nails

A selection of old and new rusty fabrics

The fabric below is a very loose weave easy to stitch into, can't remember the name of it but it is the one used in Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn's DVD, available from ArtVan Go.

I stapled three pieces together before I rusted it then hand stitched in each portion.

I  stapled a whole piece of fabric before rusting for this sample below.

I placed a template over the cloth so I could judge where the stitching would go.

Three hearts ready for Helfa Gelf open studio's next month

Monday, April 14, 2014

Alice Fox course

I was lucky enough to get a place on the Alice Fox course on our annual weekend with the North Wales Embroiderers Guild at Plas Tan Y Bwlch, Maentwrog.

To see what we got up to, go take a look at the Croesew Blog

It was one of those weekends when you wish you could be on all three courses at once.

Plas Tan Y Bwlch is a wonderful venue, lovely food and the legendary bread and butter pudding with our Sunday lunch.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Two for Tuesday

While I have the time I thought I would do another post.

Last year I was asked by a friend to make a bag as a present for her friend.

The fabric is heavy weight calico, Golden molding paste, scrim and acrylic paint, this bag is lined with painted calico and could be reversible, but the heavily painted fabric is awkward to turn through.

It was difficult to get a picture as it was before Christmas and the weather was grim and the lighting poor.  

The colours blend a lot more in real life than shown here.

Overall I was pleased with how the bag turned out and plan on making a few more.

Tuesday Talk

A week has gone by since the last post, I am determined to keep a regular update from now on.

While my room was being reorganised I wasn't completely idle, even though working with my stash scattered all over the flat was difficult. 

I have been doing some short half day courses with Coleg Harlech, last term we were printing fabrics, natural dyeing and rust dyeing 
I enjoyed the rust dyeing, the fabrics used below are calico, cotton, Lutradur, scrim and even the plastic bags the rusty bits were resting on.

I used the Lutradur squares to make a booklet, they started off 12 " square and became a 6" folding book.

One page rusted with washers.

Another rusted with nails

I love how this book can be placed different ways to show off the pages

A paper version sitting along side

My natural dye experiments were not very successful as I was on holiday the week we were covering it in class, I don't have much greenery in my garden and most of the best berries had gone by the time I had a play at home.
It was interesting to have a go, but I don't think I will be doing any more

This term we are covering stitch, mainly hand stitch and also reverse applique and faux chenille.
I am enjoying rediscovering hand stitch, as I am working on some new items of my own at the moment I am keeping my samples for this term small.

This was the first stitch sample, using lots of the fabrics from last term.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Time for Change

After looking at the last post, you will understand that we, well my husband decided enough was enough and decided to sort my/our  (he works in the other tidy half) room out for me.

First to go was the shelves and long worktop, all the paint filled drawers underneath went on the landing, its a good size so they can stay out there. 

Next this was delivered and built ready to be filled.

 The worst job was taking out the fitted wardrobe, this left a gap in the wallpaper on the ceiling and in the laminate floor, floor and ceiling were sorted and the old shelves and my sewing desk made a new home for my paperwork and computer.

A trip to Ikea for another shelf unit an add on desk and some lovely canvas boxes for all my material

I can work either side of the desk and the little drawer sets fit well with my tub of rolled fabric just squeezing in the gap.

 I decided to put the roll out table under the computer

 And the filing cabinet under the desk.

Putting everything back took some time as I went through every bag and box I even threw some things away.
Our local craft store sells plastic containers for scrapbook paper and cards 30 A4 and 12 x 12" square containers hold everything small and all labelled. 

Its a great relief not having to pull something out of the way to reach my supplies, we couldn't find a rug large enough but 2 mtr x 4 mtr of cheap carpet fitted the gap perfectly, and not too expensive to replace if ? /when I spill something on it.