There are no mistakes, just experiments!

Life is full of experiments, not mistakes. This holds true especially when you are embarking on a cutting project with new-to-you materials. All the material setting charts, tips and tricks are but starting points on your artistic journey. To be successful with your machine, you must give yourself permission to make a few mistakes and use up some material to get the best results. Today’s project was a prime example of this truth and here is the tale of my journey.

The Project

My daughter is a new theatre teacher and she wanted some unique and durable hall passes for her students. She initially thought of laminated cardstock passes that would be hung from a lanyard. I designed a playful twist on the iconic Playbill magazine for her hall pass. Time spent = 3 hours

Version 1 – Printed on cardstock and laminated was the easiest, but the least durable. The thinner the cardstock, the less rigid the pass. Thicker cardstock did not seal well along the edges of the lamination. Time spent = 1 hour

Version 2

Base

    • Decided to use a plastic for the pass base and adhere the design to it. The pass needed to be double sided with a white base, but where to get a suitable plastic sheet material in one day? (did I mention I only had a weekend to produce this?) After stops in 4 stores both hobby and home improvement, I resigned myself to a For Sale sign from Lowes. The plastic is rigid but not too thick to be cut with my cutter. Problem was there is only a 5” x 20” space of white on the sign, so there is a great deal of waste. (I may be able to use the leftovers in another project that is one sided.) Time spent shopping = 4 hours.
    • I have since found several sources for this plastic, white ASA Styrene, online. Mainly from model building companies.
    • This plastic was a breeze to cut on my KNK Maxx Air. Time spent cutting = 1 hour.

Design Layer

  • Any material I printed the design on would need to be water and smudge resistant. I had found some Silhouette Clear Sticker Paper and some Water Slip Decal paper that was ink jet printable last time I cleaned my office, so I thought I would try them. Both materials printed nice and bright, cutting however proved to be a bear. The clear sticker paper was thick, more like a craft plastic instead of a vinyl. I started with a vinyl cut setting and eventually worked my way up to the same settings I use for .007 craft plastic. A range of force from 42 to 140. The decal paper was a little easier, but still much more force and blade exposure than I anticipated. Time spent = 3 hours and double the materials needed.
  • After adhering these units to the base they needed to be water proofed. The decal paper came with its own special spray, which did not spray so I tossed that material. For the clear sticker paper, this meant the arduous process of spraying several light coats of clear epoxy on both sides and waiting 30 mins in between each coat to dry. I confess I am not very good at spray painting, too much and it runs, too little and no coverage. I was not pleased with the results. Time spent = 3 hours

Version 3

    • There has got to be a better way that takes less time and no waterproofing! Woke up the next day and started over. Sent husband to the store for more plastic and tested more materials. Then it hit me, Ink Jet Transparency film. A material that is not commonly seen in stores anymore since the rise of digital projection, but still available. I have quite the inventory of it as it makes great fussy cutting templates for quilt piecing units.
    • You print in reverse on the treated side of the transparency, so the ink is protected by the plastic. Flipped my Print and Cut project and cut using the same settings as I do for thin .007 craft plastic.
    • Since the transparency is crystal clear with no backing sheet, you need to slip a white piece of paper underneath your mat to be able to see the registration marks for the Print and Cut process.

  • After cutting, I ran the cut shapes through my Xyron sticker machine to apply permanent adhesive on the back of the units.
  • Adhered to the plastic bases, making sure to brayer and squeegee any air bubbles out. Time spent = 3 hours

 

I spent a total of 15 hours over 2 days on this project. I went through 2 -3 times more material than what was needed for the actual end product. Seems excessive for such a simple thing, right? But that whole time, I was learning about new materials and machine settings, problem solving until I had a product that I know will stand up to daily use.

And that is how it is in life, you learn by doing, to not try or give up at the first setback means you never get anywhere or achieve your dreams. So, don’t fear your machine. Keep trying and testing, give yourself permission to make mistakes, because they are just experiments, not failures!

 

Materials

ASA Styrene Sheet – I used the For Sale sign, but blank sheets can be sourced online. White Styrene Sheets .020

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

HP Premium Inkjet Transparency Film

Xyron Sticker Machine

 

Maxx Air Settings

Force = 125, Speed = 300, Passes = 1, Blade Height = 25

Mickey Wasted

I’m not sure I get that term, but my friend always uses it when she goes to Disneyland once a week. She loves her some Disneyland. So when it came time for her birthday, the gift was easy peasy. Make a set of Disney cards. I found the svg mickey ears on the internet and cut out a whole sheet of them, enough to make 24 cards (try to punch 24 Mickey ears that fast with a punch… plus you are stuck with one size).

I used black and white papers and cut out the thanks with a die.

The only thing I did different on her set was cut the thanks out in white, which I think I like better. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it. Also on hers I used white paper with black dots, which I think I like better too.

I used the Zing to cut out the ears (10/10; 95)

 

Spooky

At the store where I work we have special events to introduce new things to our customers.  In September, we will be hosting one that features embroidery projects from a company named Kimberbell.  The ladies in charge of the event decided to give each attendee a special memento to remind them of the event.  A plastic glass was selected and I was asked to “help” create the cutting files for a vinyl design to be placed on the glass.  The design that was selected is one that will be used on a project at the event.

Materials Used:

American Crafts Adhesive Vinyl (Black)

Oracal 631 Vinyl (White and Green)

Transfer Tape

Machine Used:

KNK Force  Red Blade, Passes 1, Blade Tension 1, Cutting Depth 18, Cutting Speed 15, Overcut .42

Additional Information:

Since the entire design is not visible in the photo, here is a screen shot of the design in Make the Cut.

I made liberal use of the Shadow Layer tool in MTC to bulk up the spider’s legs and the letters.   The bow was borrowed from a built in shape in Sure Cuts A Lot and bulked up also with the Shadow Layer tool.  I’ve learned that the next time I want to have some curvy or swirly lines, I can easily draw them in SCAL rather than struggling as I did this time in MTC.

Now to teach the ladies doing the event about cutting vinyl, weeding, and using transfer tape.  Only 14 more glasses to do!

Another Baby Shower Idea Using Foamy – Beautiful Decoration (Ver Español)

Another Baby Shower Idea Using Foamy - Beautiful Decoration

This is Another Baby Shower Idea Using Foamy. It is a Beautiful Decoration either for a wall or a table. This can also be done in small sizes to put on centerpieces; or even as a party favor. There are a lot of different ways that you can make this look very beautiful, professional and unique. On these examples, I used the same baby but one is using his the bottle as a horse, lol. And the other one, the baby looks like he is just peeking from the top of the bottle. Those baby can also be decorated with pacifiers, like the picture below. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Another Baby Shower Idea Using Foamy - Beautiful Decoration

Another Baby Shower Idea Using Foamy – Beautiful Decoration

Materials:

Settings:

  • Blade = Red
  • BT = 1.25
  • P= 1
  • CD = 70 (This depends on the mm of the Foamy. There are Foamies that are very thin even though the label says 2mm)
  • CS= 20

Instructions:

  1. First, I designed the baby and the bottle using SCAL4
  2. Once, I was satisfied with the file, I cut it using my KNK Force.
  3. Then, I blurred the border of all the pieces with acrylic paint
  4. After that, I painted his face, added white dots to the bottle, and wrote the initials of the baby on the bottle.
  5. My final touch before gluing everything was to add glitter to the border of the baby bottle.
  6. Finally, I glued all the pieces together.

Otra Idea Para Baby Shower Utilizando Foamy

Esta es otra idea para Baby Shower utilizando Foamy. Es una hermosa decoración que lo mismo puedes utilizar en una pared o sobre una mesa. Esta también puede ser hecha en tamaños pequeños para ponerlos en los centros de mesas o incluso como recordatorios. Hay muchas formas diferentes en las que puedes hacer estos se vean muy hermoso y único. En estos ejemplos, he utilizado el mismo bebé pero en unos luces como si el bebé estuviese utilizando la botella como caballito. Y en otros luce como si el bebé estuviese asomado por detrás de la botella. Estos bebé también se pueden decorar con chupetes, como la foto que se muestra.

Materiales:

  • KNK Digital Cutting Machine (Yo usé la KNK Force para este proyecto)
  • Red cap blade (Utilicé la cuchilla tapa roja y trabajó perfectamente)
  • SCAL4
  • Pintura Acrílica
  • Pinceles
  • Foamy
  • Escarcha o Diamantina

Settings:

  • Cuchilla = Roja
  • BT = 1.25
  • P= 1
  • CD = 70 (Esto depende de los mm del Foamy. Hay Foamies que son bien finos aún cuando la etiqueta)
  • CS= 20

Instrucciones:

  1. Primero, yo diseñé el bebé y su botella usando el programa SCAL4.
  2. Una vez estuve satisfecha con el archivo, lo corté utilizando mi KNK Force.
  3. Luego, primero difuminé el borde de todas las piezas con pintura acrílica.
  4. Luego de eso, pinté su carita, añadí puntos blancos a la botella, y escribí la inicial del bebé en la botella.
  5. Mi toque final antes de pegar todo, fué aplicar escarcha o diamantina a los bordes de la botella.
  6. Finalmente, pegué todas las piezas.

New beginnings

My son recently bought his own practice and moved from San Diego to Wisconsin.Then they got a kitten to keep their older cat company. Their older cat had a skin condition which made it scratch and caused sores. So like any good cat person, his better half Annie, had a dress made so the open area would be covered and ordered a matching dress for the kitten. I applied the logo to the dresses. The kitten in a Savannah hybrid, her name is Lily. The older cat , Mia, has since healed and the kitten has outgrown her dress.

 

And then because at one time I had ordered 200 koozies ( just in case I ever needed a koozie) I made some Koozies with their logo.

Materials

Heat transfer vinyl

heat press

Settings

15″ KNK MAXX

Speed 350

Force 33  2 passes

red capped blade

 

Both were pretty simple. My son had designed the logo and sent it to me as a jpeg. I was able to trace it and turn it into a KNK file. I then mirrored the image and cut it from the heat transfer vinyl.  When cutting htv I use a lower force but do a multiple cut with 2 passes. It seems to weed better this way. I don’t do a lot with htv and my heat press compared to regular vinyl, but everytime I make something with HTV I am so happy that I invested in a heat press.