Give Thanks

Well hello there KNK-ers!

I seem to be on a banner kick, so I bring you yet another one.

These pictures are horrible. I totally procrastinated and it’s dark and believe it or not, I took these in my dim living room with no flash. I’m actually impressed with this little Canon camera I bought a couple months ago, and considering my lighting conditions are horrible, these pictures could be a lot worse.


12×12 chipboard

recollections paper

DCWV thanksgiving/halloween stack

font: merit


I used the leaves from the harvest designs and I ran them through the fiskers to give the leaves some texture and then inked them with some brown and green inks.

I wish I had prettier ribbon, but I didn’t have anything on hand, so I used jute.


Zing, red blade 10/10

Until next time!



Name banner

I’m so embarrassed. For one, I was supposed to post last Friday. I made this project three weeks ago and was so excited that I had my project done already… and then forgot to post it. My excuses get worse: I took pictures of it and can’t find them anywhere!! The only picture I have is horrible and it isn’t even finished here. I since added to the blank square. So on Monday, when I go to school, I will take pictures of it and get a nicer shot of it.

This even has my dog’s foot in it because she decided to back into the picture, but I was able to crop that part out.

Anyway, I wanted a banner to hang in front of my desk, so I used the chipboard from the KNK store and cut it into 4″ squares. And since it is 12×12, you get 9 squares from a sheet, (did I do that math right, because I’ve since learned I’m not smarter than a 5th grader in math), and look at that, my name and a blank square is perfect for this so I only used 1 sheet. I like this chipboard as it is very sturdy, but also very easy to trim. I haven’t tried cutting it on my Zing, but I’m sure it would do just fine. I glued 4×4 sheets of a pretty damask paper I found from my DCWV stash and cut the letters out of DCWV red glitter paper. It is glittery, I promise. I made the letters a little big, I should’ve made them about 3″ and I made them about 3.5.” I had to “smoosh” the M’s or they didn’t fit. I also didn’t center them on the squares because I was debating having the ribbon go across the top, but I ended up going behind the squares. I inked the edges with black ink (as well as my fingers… and some of the table), and used foam tape to stick the letters on. Then I cut holes in the top and threaded the ribbon through. The other version I saw of this had ribbon bows tying each square together and I think I should’ve done that instead, but it’s fine the way it looks.

Since the panda is our mascot, I used print and cut to cut him out and I used foam tape to stick him in the middle. As I said before, I’ll get a better picture of the finished project and you’ll even see my messy desk! Bonus! I have it taped it front of my desk and since I was new to the school, it was a nice way to announce myself and a pretty way to dress up my desk.

Teaching 5th grade is really fun! It’s really hard work, but I’m really enjoying it and I absolutely love my new school. I promise I’ll be on time next month!

Machine used: Zing, red blade, 10/10, 105 (don’t use my settings, I am very lazy about changing blades)

Materials: KNK chipboard, DCWV paper, foam tape, black ink pad.


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!

Baseball card

So my son just finished his first season of high school baseball. He did pretty good. He worked hard and I’m very proud of his mindset to keep trying, no matter what. He did not give up, even coming into the season recovering from a major broken wrist and being weak from a total of 11 weeks of some sort of cast.

Boy also grew 3 inches during the season and towers over me. Anyway, the parents wanted to give the coach a gift card and a signed card from the boys so I came up with this.

Originally it looked like this, but it just looked too plain, so I added the thanks in brannonball font. Looks baseball-ish, no?

The inside was blank and all the boys signed their names and gave it to the coach. I wasn’t able to get a picture of it all signed, but it was neat to give a personal something that I created that only took minutes to make.

I used: KNK Zing, red blade. Don’t even regard my settings. I need to change my blade again so I won’t even post them.


MTC Pixel Trace

In recent posts I’ve talked about using KNK cutters to cut fabrics for use in sewing machine applique projects.  This time I thought I’d do a brief explanation of how I use MTC Pixel Trace to get from a piece of paper with an image on it to the files I use to cut the fabric pieces.

The first step is to scan the image into the computer.  If you don’t have a scanner, you could take a photo of the image and transfer it to your computer.  I prefer to use a scanner because then I know that my scanned image is the same size as the original printed image.  Once the image is scanned, it can be saved as a raster file such as a JPG, a BMP, or a PNG for example.  Remember to keep track of where you have the file saved on your computer.

The next step is to open the file in the Pixel Trace function of MTC.  There are many options available in the Pixel Trace function that affect the success or failure of the trace. For example:  I had this image that I wanted to cut the pieces for use in a small wall hanging. (It doesn’t matter if you are preparing an image to be used to cut fabric or cardstock or both – the process is the same).  Here is the image I was working with

I wanted the center spiral to be red, the background of the spiral to be white, the inner ring to be green and the outer ring to be red.  Yes, the center looks like a peppermint candy.

I opened the image in the MTC Pixel Trace function.  Using the default settings this is what I saw:

The green circles indicate two areas where the lines are incomplete.  By increasing the Threshold to 200, the lines were now complete.  Remember to click on “Apply Changes” every time you change one of the values.

I Imported this version of the trace and proceeded to process it to create the separate parts I wanted.

First I selected the whole image.  Pixel Trace imports the whole image as one item.  Then I used the Break function to separate all of the parts.

It may be difficult to see but each piece of the image has a dotted line around it and the center of each of those pieces is indicated by a cross.  Notice that the computer has much more discerning “eyes” than we humans do and has traced each side of the lines of the image.  

In this case this works to my favor.  Since I want to separate the parts out, I can use one side of the traced line for one part and the other side of a different part.  I want the center spiral to be my first part placed on a circular background.  Thus I don’t need the curved wedge shaped pieces in between the legs of the spiral.  I can select the unwanted pieces and delete them.

While my spiral is selected, I can put it on it’s own layer and put that layer “to sleep” to more easily work with the other layers.

Then I can select each of the successive circles, putting them each on their own layer until I have the three different circles that I want  for my project.  There will be some lines that I do not use and will delete when I have created the layers that I want.  When there are two lines (the two from both sides of the original lines) I will usually pick the larger one and delete the smaller one.

When I have the layers I want and have changed the colors of the layers to reflect my color choices, I will order the layers so they are in sequence with the smallest on the top.  I chose to make the white, green, and red “rings” as complete circles rather than rings to avoid the possibility of spaces in between the rings.  This is what my completed file looks like.

That image was very easy to process.  Unfortunately, there are other images that require a bit more manipulation in order to get a file ready for cutting.  MTC has a large tool box of functions that will allow you to process most of the images you want to cut.  Here are a couple of examples of tools that you might find useful.

When this image was traced there was an internal part that needed to be dealt with.  The image was Broken and one of each of the outside and inside lines were selected and deleted.

That left two images that would have cut okay but could be problematic if they were moved or otherwise manipulated without making sure that both parts were selected.  The two pieces were selected and the Join function used to make them into one piece.

Images without internal parts can be traced without having two lines to deal with by using the Blackout feature in the Pixel Trace window.  For example

You can see that the blackout function ignores anything inside of the various images.  But for those images that are solid, it is a great option.  For the image that has an inside shape, it isn’t what you want to use.

There is another option for items that are traced and have the two lines like below

The item can be selected (without it being broken apart) and the Thin Paths function applied.

This will crate a new shape whose line is between the two traced lines.  More like a line you would draw if you were tracing the shape with a pencil.

Occasionally you will find drawings where the parts have gotten joined when the image is traced.  In the instance above you could break apart the traced images and if the inside lines were smaller than what you wanted you could add a shadow layer of any thickness  you want to increase the size.

This by no means covers the whole magical function of MTC’s Pixel Trace.  For that you need to refer to Sandy McCauley’s excellent manuals which cover all of the tools in Pixel Trace in depth.