Friday, July 31, 2015

Seasons Greetings - Holly Wreath Card

Maybe if I continue to create Christmas Cards I will feel cooler this hot July day.

I try very hard to figure out how to simplify my designs yet keep some details that make them pop. This card has several layers which helps. Sure, I could just make lots of little holly leafs and say, "go to it!" but I don't think anyone want to create a card where you spend so much time fitting tiny pieces together.

This is what welding or merging objects and layering those objects come in handy. I started with several holly leaves and berries to create a paint brush in Adobe Illustrator. Then I applied the paint brush to circles. Three different holly leaves of different sizes, rotation and color makes a wonderful pattern brushes.

Layer at least three circles and began experimenting. Once I got the affect I wanted I made a copy of the layers and then welded all the layers together. This creates an undistinguished shadow of the leaves. This made the base layer. The remaining layers are created by removing a leaf ring. Using a different color for each welding I can now lay this shadow on the first layer. Out pops the bottom layer leaves. Continue in the same fashion for each layer until all that is left are the berries.

Now there is no way to weld the last leaf layer or berries but with the last leaf layer is the silhouette of the berries which makes it easy to add either cutout berries or adhesive gems. I chose a combination of both. Pop a bow on the card and it's ready to be sent. Well, maybe wait for Christmas.

Hop over to my posting at to see this card and others I have created.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Christmas in July

As I walked through Hobby Lobby I noticed the Christmas decorations were being put on the shelf. With temperatures in the upper 80's it's hard to think about snow, shopping and Christmas. But to make our own Christmas cards we need to start early. So, Christmas in July hit the stores and also the craft shops.

I've created two in the past two days. Today's is an advent card. I suppose it could be used as a church bulletin or newsletter cover also. Then yesterday I finish one that I hope to make a series of cards or frames of. The over the River card was inspired by the song. I think the final product shows off splendidly.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Iris and Butterfly Shaped Card

This week end was a learning experience in creating multi layered card with adhesive foam. 
This card contains some great elements that can be reused to make other projects. The iris topper itself is striking in deep colors. As is shown there are 6 layers with 4 mounted with adhesive foam for dimensional affect (Optional). It is a 5.5 square card but can be re-sized for other envelope dimensions.

I try to learn something new with each card I make. In this card I learned how to mask the top layer white boarder so the green and purple can each be cut as one piece, adding dimension with adhesive foam and adding dimension to an object by edge cutting into the layer and pulling forward.

Hope you like this card. I'm anxious to see what other color options people use.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Popup Monarch Butterfly Card

I finally finished the popup Monarch Butterfly Card and have posted it to

I made several attempts and just kept simplifying the design. I love working with SVG files. They can be used in so many software allowing the object scaling. This is an example of how I reused elements from previous cards, made a few changes, added a verse and designed the popup insert and monarch. The hard part was deciding how to make the butterfly independent. I've made another version using flowered scrap paper for the insert. That was simple!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Using SVG files in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition

I sell my SVG cutting files at SVG files can be used by many different machines. I design primarily for the Silhouette Cameo's designer edition software. A new version 3 of the software has come out with several enhancements for cutting management. I am therefore starting to set some standards in grouping, cutting line sizes and line colors to help others use my SVG files.
I suggest you review the video at - Using SVG Files With Silhouette Studio Designer Edition Version 3 for the latest change in the advance feature of the cutting settings.

 I do not always combine objects into an image called rasterize images. In my format it allows the user the ability to use the same object for a decoupage or added layer. Each object in the SVG file is grouped together with a cutting line image. Note, all cutting lines are in red but there is also a center perforation line in black.

In advance mode you can set how to cut the perforation. From the video they suggest it be cut with a different pressure setting such as copy paper. There are also other line colors that have been identified and manually turned off.

If you wanted to cut a petal from the flower object for emphasis, you would ungroup the flower and pull the petal object out. Then you can either set it as a cutting object in the standard mode or cut by its color.

These instruction will be included in the assembly instruction for each SVG going forward from this date. Hope this will help create a successful use of my SVG files.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cardmaking Haven

Just joined Cardmaking Haven and was surprised at all the lovely people and projects there. I'm hoping to learn from them to create the best cards. This week I am working on a card with butterflies.

I start by placing a photo in Adobe Illustrator. I then use the curvature tool to outline each piece. In this case there are two wings and the body.

The hardest part is to decide how to do the details. Once I have the shape I add pieces until the wing begins to look like the photo.

I know that I'm not going to want to cut and paste all the little white dots on the monarch. Instead I create a compound path and let my Silhouette do the work by cutting them out and lining the piece with a white layer.

I'm now at the point of making the decision on what to do with the other pieces. This will depend on how large I make the butterfly. For now I have left them as cut and paste.

Since the butterfly is symmetrical I only need the three pieces. By reflecting the wings I have the completed butterfly.

As I go through this process I keep having to say to myself, keep it simple. While this seems like a simple process it takes several hours to complete just one drawing. I'm hoping to use this full flying butterfly as a popup card.

I also did one that looks like it is sitting on a flower. It was a modification of the existing pieces with a new body. Look for my new butterfly card later this week.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Coneflowers blooming in Iowa

From Wikepedia: The Echinacea genus has nine species, which are commonly called purple cone flowers. They are found only in eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer.

My perennial garden continues to produce 5 to 6 flowers each year. Not a fast start in making a showy splash but they are so fun to watch bloom. They start with the central compact head and spiky little flower petals. Very strange looking but in a few days the petals have grown, the center has turned to burnt orange and they stand tall and proud.

I have finish my cone flower card. It is a center gate card with overlapping edge for the flower. There are actually two large flowers one on each edge but the second is hidden until the card is opened. Inside is a delicate liner with a printable cone flower boarder. I am going to add this to a flower scrapbook kit along with other flowers, boarders and frames soon.

The card is available at CraftsUPrint in SVG format specifically for the Silhouette Cameo. This format can be used with the Silhouette Studio designer edition. Other machines not tested that import SVG files are listed at
I hope you enjoy this card.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July Designs

July has been very busy with the holidays, my husband's role in the community theaters production of "Moon over Buffalo" and my crafting and web updating of the church's site. Little Gwen has been to visit and our niece has had her new baby. All of these events gets the creativity going with my card designs. I hope you enjoy what I've posted this month so far:

I've started designing some over the edge cards of flowers we saw while in France. We saw Iris, Poppies, roses, lavender, and peonies. I've started with this Iris card and then discovered the petunias in my garden were just as beautiful. These were drawn from photos I took using Adobe illustrator and saved as SVG format. With Design Studio Designer edition I am able to open the file to cut the card. These are blank templates ready to be embellished with your own words to give at any occasion.

I am also trying to be a little more diverse this month. I've designed a Gingerbread house kit. It was so much fun and brought back many memories of making gingerbread houses with my children. The are both in the design industry, interiors and architecture. You can imagine some of their creations. Mine is simple. It is in the shape of a milk carton with a handle added. Using the ribbon allows the container to hold a food treat such as cookies, fudge or candies. It's never too late to start creating containers for home made gifts. Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me. I'm the gingerbread man.

My niece had her second little girl in June. I designed this card with her in mind. The one I have out for sale is in the form of an announcement. The outside looks like the crib is empty but the side folds down and when the card is opened there is the sweet little one all asleep. I do need to get this posted in the mail today.

Mason City, Iowa is the home of the Historic Park Inn and the Stockman house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There is also a neighborhood of  Prairie style houses. I like the graphical designs in the windows which inspired this card. It is not one of the windows but has several element styles lending a feeling of this architectural style. Again, the card has several different sentiments. I have also offered it as a printable card in the card-making category, branching out into another area for crafting.

I also branched out into the digital scrapbook market by packaging two of my elegant frames in multiple colors. This is a set of png formatted files to be used with software such as Serif. Craft Artist.

Today I will go back to designing a set of Flower related cards and have started with the purple Cone Flower. What I did not know is the flower is found only in Eastern and Central North America according to Wikipedia. I have planted a few in my perennial garden. Each year they reseed themselves and are starting to spread. They can be seen in areas of Iowa where prairie grasses and wildflowers grown. They are pinkish-purple blooms on a two foot spike with a pronounced coppery centers. I will post this creation in my next posting.

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What's with the name?

In 2012 I became a grandma. My daughter asked me what I wanted my granddaughter to call me. I never thought about this. I guess to keep things straight she could call me Grandma Henry. This might confuse her since she has a great grandma. I told my daughter that Gwen would name me. She did, I'm sure with the help of her mommy. I became Gammy and as she got older the "R" was added. Grammy, Grammy, Grammy.

When I retired I began making more cards. Many of them were with her in mind. My specialty is the popup form of cards. That has led me into a lot of research with the hopes of creating a popup book for my grand "children". This includes my nieces children.