Friday, August 19, 2016

New Cuttable Files on Etsy

It's been a busy summer! I finally got organized enough to make a bunch of new cuttable or cutting files for digital die cutting machines for Etsy. I have a Pazzles, but Cricut and Silhouette are two other popular brands. And with third party software like Make the Cut, digi crafters aren't limited to certain file types like days of yore! It's kind of cringe-worthy to think that the original Cricut came with cartridges...you couldn't use your own designs back then.

Fortunately, times have changed and there are all sorts of designy people out there like me who are happy to share their designs. So far I have some frames, birds and feathers. We'll see how the collection grows.

Each cutting file package comes with a PDF, an SVG file and a WPC file for Pazzles. Even if you don't have a digital die cutter, you can use the SVG to scale the pictures to size, or you can do it the old fashioned way with a photocopier with the PDF. Sometimes I forget that you can use a cutting machine to draw too. Clip art, embroidery patterns, laser cutting, stencils...cuttable files have tons of uses :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Used to Draw Like This

I posted this on Facebook last week. My friend and framer Ljubica came over to deliver a picture and while chatting about art, this and that, I pulled out an old watercolour from high school.



It was good for a laugh! You can see that I liked Breyers as well as horses a lot back then! It made me a little sad too - even back then art programs were pretty underfunded. We did most of our projects on manila paper and it was almost always watercolour. Manila paper is a poor quality choice - it doesn't hold water very well - and, well, it's off white! Occasionally we did get real watercolour paper or a Fredrix canvas, but I was kind of disappointed by how little I learned about drawing, technique or materials. I sense this is why a lot of people never practice art - they figure that just because they were not good at it then, they never will be. Chances are they just didn't have good instruction or materials :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

3 Easy Ways to Cut Tissue Paper for Crafts

Every now and then I enjoy making a craft video. I am by no means a pro at it, but each one gets a little better every time. There are so many factors such as audio, lighting, camera positioning and complaining cockatiels :-D

I finally made a title card after noticing that some craft videos have some pretty snazzy introductions. I made a black & white drawing, cleaned it up in Corel Photo Paint and then converted it to a vector image in CorelDraw so the colours could be changed easily.

Inspiration came from a video that suggested putting the camera tripod on top of the desk. It's hard to craft with a tripod between you and your hands, so this worked well, except the video is upside down and rotating it can look funny. Time to do things the left handed way until I get a fancier set up :-D

I'm pleased to show off this technique for cutting tissue paper. I figured it out back in spring when making a card for my friend Always Artistic and taking photos just didn't seem to do. Take a look and let me know if this is a technique that you would like to try as well!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Oh Canada!

I hope everyone had a lovely Canada Day yesterday. Our weather was up and down with being brilliantly sunny in the morning to humid and overcast by the afternoon. My husband and our friends covered 5 km from downtown to Prince's Island Park and back. I finally got to see the iconic Peace Bridge, built in 2012!

Being an earlybird, I started on this papercut, or scherenschnitte, yesterday morning, drawing all the letters by hand. Once we were worn out and overfed, it was relaxing to come home and finish it off. If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I am often late for holidays, so finally I was just in time :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Scenes from Spruce Meadows

Today I am going to share with you a magical place in Alberta. Now, Alberta is full of magical places, but if you love horses, Spruce Meadows is a wonderous land where sport and family meet!

When I was a little girl living in Edmonton, I used to dutifully collect the free admission passes that came with the gas bill in hopes that some day my family would make the three hour trek to Calgary. That never happened - it was only until I moved here that I was able to indulge in Spruce Meadows and I loved every minute of it. Every visit, decades later, reminds me of my youthful enthusiasm for horses.

It's easy to forget that houses are right across the road from it now - but it still maintains its country charm. And here's the best part - there really is something for everyone at Spruce Meadows, from live music, delicious food, usually a car show or dog agility.

Spruce Meadows celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and this lasting gift from the Southern family always fills my heart with pride. Red Arrow kindly provides a free shuttle service so that the park is accessible to everyone and admission is free, although some day I am going to splurge on the paid seats :)

I couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect day when I went for the Continental on June 11th. It was sunny and cool and I marvelled at all the recent upgrades. It's been a couple of years since my last visit. The old bleacher seating at the Chinook Ring has been replaced with a fancy new Founder's Plaza with tables and chairs.

I was super excited this day because I borrowed a 200 mm zoom lens. For those of you who have never held one, it's about as long as your forearm and weighs about a pound or two. It was really hefty! I found a primo space for the event going on and tested it out. I was so nervous because of the borrowed lens that I forgot to make the most of the zoom! I had all sorts of dumb fears that it would fall off my camera or that I would drop it :D

Fortunately by the time we found seating in the International Ring I had a handle on it and I was thrilled with the results, as you can see in this sample on Flickr. I can't wait to go again!

Monday, May 9, 2016

New budgie colouring book

A couple of weeks ago I added a new printable colouring book to my Etsy shop. It's all about budgies! In fact, it's called OMG Budgies!!!. Like most budgie lovers, it's so exciting when you see something with a budgie on it! The big parrots get all the attention :-) I have so many budgie photos over the years that it was a no brainer to pick favourites of Moxie, Mr. Jill, Mellow and Feisty to turn into line art. I really enjoyed it and I found a lot of photos that I had forgotten about over the years. The colouring book is just $5 and you can print as many copies as you like for home use. Watch for a few paper copies at sales too - in fact, I sold the first paper copy at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The customer was overjoyed. OMG budgies!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

National Pet Day

Somehow I was caught off guard by National Pet Day...something I had never heard of before! Every day is pet day in our house and here's a recently completely papercut of Muffin. It's hard to believe that he is 14/15 and that we have had him for six and a half years.
Cockatiel Papercut